How I can remember the time in my life when (probably) the Hanged Man was predominant in my life. It was about almost 13 years ago, when I still lived in Iceland. During my years in Iceland (although a beautiful country), I had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to stay (complacently) in a relationship and live there. Although, it wasn’t any cultural if you’re thinking that. These are the sacrifices one makes to remain in a relationship. We’ve all heard Dr. Phil (or other therapists) talk about people who give up part of themselves to be in a relationship with someone else, whether you call it sacrificing or settling.
This time period was also a period of suspension – mostly money wise. Work that I was able to do was scarce in the small towns that I lived in and many times it felt like I wasn’t getting ahead in anything. I made a few steps by taking a course at the local secondary school, which I was very proud of myself for being the only “foreigner” taking a high school Icelandic course and passed with a B+ grade, having only learned Icelandic from being self-taught. But, still I was “sacrificing”. All my friends and family were back home and I wasn’t particularly close with my ex’s family who sometimes didn’t live in the same town as we did. This kind of life went on for about 3 years, when finally I had to learn “it’s OK to go back” (reversal) and that it was time to “let go”.
Letting go was probably the hardest part, but it wasn’t letting go of my ex that was the hard part – it was letting go of the anger that I had accumulated over years that festered into resentment. However, it only took about six months to finally “cut the cord” and finally “let go”. No more angry phone calls, no more angry texts. All it took was a final “F U” and I was done. My ex and I were still technically married although we weren’t living in the same country, but I figured when he wants to grow up and not be a married man with a girlfriend, he knows when and where to proceed with the divorce proceedings (and it took him a year after the legal separation to file the divorce, when it only took six months by law.) But, me? I had let it go (just like that song on the Disney movie “Frozen”.) The most ironic part? My divorce was finalized on the same day as my current husband’s birthday. Happy Birthday, My Love!
Sometimes when we need to let go, it’s literally turning everything upside down to get another perspective. I had to do a complete 180 degree turn to finally let go of all the resentment that I had built up over the years of having to make sacrifices that weren’t just monetary, but also giving up part of who I was and liked to do, in order to stay in the relationship. There were many days that left me miserable back then.
The Hanged Man appears at crossroads in our life which sometimes it’s easy to see the obvious path if you’re an outsider, but from looking within it can be confusing. Back then, I had the choice of being back “home” or staying “there”, which I was forced by circumstances to go “home”, but when it became apparent that I needed to stay there, it took a while for me to realise it was for the better. I had a choice to continue to be angry and miserable or to move on and let him (my ex) deal with the legal issues. I was fortunate that I decided to move on at around the right time, which opened me to the opportunity of meeting my current husband (together 12 years). If I had stayed angry and “in the past”, I would’ve missed it.
But, that isn’t to say that in all relationships there aren’t sacrifices. There are sacrifices that we make for the betterment of ourselves and our others, which can be simple as “refraining from spending excess money in order to save money”. As much as I have a book-addiction and tarot-addiction, I’ve had to really control myself! That is my Hanged Man in this relationship, but it is for the better for us to save money for the future – although that Hanged Man does sometimes reverse and we spend extra on a luxury must have item.
Sometimes if things aren’t working for many of us, we literally have to turn things on its head to get a different perspective or take the opposite direction just to try to get a different reaction or outcome. The Hanged Man in our lives shows us when we need to go back, hang on, suspend, move on, let go, hold on, sacrifice or put the sacrifice behind us. It’s with each of these things that we may find a bit of enlightenment, when the light bulb above our heads “goes on” and we begin to see things a bit more clearly than we did previously.