This morning, in search of a profound message for my day, I picked one of my magical Zen Tarot cards at random.


I groaned a little inside. I could already predict what the card’s explanation would tell me: Compromise is good, necessary, blah blah blah. I get it.

But, not so fast. I’m not always smart as I think I am.

The explanation for Compromise was not what I expected, but precisely what I needed. And if I needed it, well then maybe you do, too:

It is one thing to meet another halfway, to understand a point of view different from our own and work toward a harmony of the opposing forces. It is quite another to ‘cave in’ and betray our own truth….So try to understand why you hanker for compromise…”

So many times I have patted myself on the back for doing the right thing, for being the nice one, a good girl. I reminded myself how awesome of me it was to have compromised. But I didn’t feel awesome. I felt empty. I’d been had. By less nice forces than myself. By someone, perhaps, who couldn’t give a damn about my truth or me. Someone who spotted weakness and confusion from a mile away.

In many attempts to achieve harmony or simply to do the right thing, I’d instead actually given up claim to what was most important to me. And that stuff always, always ALWAYS comes back to bite you in some form or another. Did I say always?

“And compromise may be a way of not going in either direction, or it may be just a repression of your confusion…be clear-cut about your situation. And if you are confused, remember that you are confused. This will be the first clear-cut thing about you: that you are confused. You have started on the journey.”

It’s always good to know that something good comes out of a mistake or a mess-up. Would I go back and change some of the decisions I made, some of the people I’d “compromised” with? Maybe. But then perhaps I wouldn’t know all that I know now. I wouldn’t, as the card told me, have started on the journey. And without the journey, there is no healing or wisdom or AHAs or, yes, more mistakes.

Maybe this post about compromise is really about confusion which is really about the journey which, ironically, fueled in large part by mistakes. So moral of the story? Go out and make lots of mistakes. Don’t dwell on them, learn as much as you can each time and try not to make the same dang mistake twice.