In some ways that typifies the King of Pentacles and in other ways it absolutely doesn't. The difference between the two is the perspective with which we approach the challenge.
The King doesn't necessarily stop striving to achieve. Sure, he's worked hard to get where he stands. He's climbed. He's bled. He's struggled. And now, he sits on top of his mountain and takes the time to be content with what he has achieved. He realizes the work isn't done. There is more to accomplish, but he is no longer fueled by hunger. Instead, he is fueled by the process of achieving from that contented place. He no longer operates from insecurity. He has nothing to prove to anyone except perhaps himself. He simply does what needs doing without the need for accolades or props. And he is satisfied with the job well done by the virtue of having done it well.
In some ways, he is Buddha-like. He is content to be in the present moment. He embodies a sense of peace, and he expresses that peace outwardly by providing something most of us crave without even knowing it. The thing he provides: care. He is the ultimate caretaker and he accepts and lives that role.
He has achieved the sense of peace that allows him to know that true care comes without thought of reciprocity. True care is free and freely given. The King doesn't achieve because he craves the reward. He achieves because he knows his role and is pleased to fulfill it. The process of fulfilling it brings him peace as certainly as would deep meditation on a mountaintop. Because he can find it anywhere and everywhere, he can care for those around him, in the moment, and provide a sense of love and acceptance that so many need.
The trouble is that most of us aren't there. We chafe under what is expected of us. We run from one "must do" to another "should do" to a third "get it done this instant" and we never spend time just relaxing into what we have and what we have already accomplished.
And, I wonder how many of us feel truly cared for. How many of us feel like someone really, actually has our back and will protect us, care for us, or stand for us if and when we need that?
On some very practical levels, the answer to that is likely that very few of us feel that sense of care and fewer of us would allow ourselves to feel vulnerable enough to let someone care for us in that way. But that is just what the King of Pentacles asks us to do, even if the person who care for us is ourselves. If we change our perspective, if we shift our paradigm, we begin to realize that that contentment and yes, that power lies directly inside each of us. We are our own best protector and defender. When no one else will stand by you, then you must stand for yourself.
What can we learn from this card? I'd say we can learn that being terrified or worried about something doesn't change that thing we fear, at all. The thing we fear stays exactly as it was and has ever been. What changes is that we devote energy to it and that makes it seem bigger in our own minds. And that gives it power over us. So, if we stop giving it energy by devoting our time and effort in worrying about it, it still doesn't change, but then we have more energy to either do something about it, or to live our lives in peace, depending on what is appropriate in the present moment. If we release our fear and our stress, then what's left is a well of quiet calm.
So, today, I encourage you to remember your own courage, your own achievements, your own struggles. Remember them and allow them to bring you a sense of peace that you can gracefully handle whatever life throws at you. In fact, write them down. List them. Count your blessings. Start big and work your way down to the tiniest cause for joy. Give those blessings outward expression and you will be amazed at the transformation. What might have seemed insurmountable will transform into the infinitely doable. What might have seemed terrifying will change into the possible.
The peace you will feel when you actually get to that place of quiet confidence will allow you to climb the next peak. And that satisfaction can change your life.
Copyright for the tarot card image belongs to US Games Systems, Inc.
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