DISCLAIMER: As always, everything presented here is for entertainment and semi-educational purposes only. Please do not mistake this for mental health therapy or advice. If you need mental health counseling or treatment, please contact your insurance company, local college’s student counseling clinic, county crisis line, or the Psychology Today Portal.
If you want a running list of COVID-19 resources and news, check out my list here. Also, check out this running list of disaster hotlines by state. **I have quite a few articles for the news and resources page, but way too much is else calling my attention right now. I have 120 more articles that go through the end of May. Beyond that, I haven’t been able to sort through the info coming out. Sorry to be so slow.
WARNING: This is the part of my weekly post where I talk about some pop-psychological and tangentially metaphysical thing. My belief is I’m not the only one noticing this and I wonder how it will affect the New Normal (™). I am doing this in the hopes that it is useful for someone. If you are not that someone, you are more than welcome to skip to the reading. Please accept my humble apologies if you found this preachy.
Cognitive distortions are still on my mind this week, but you probably could’ve finished that sentence for me. One of the subtler running themes of this blog is prediction. That’s one of the reasons people get so into the tarot, because they like having an idea of what’s next. People tend to like having at least one thing in their life that they can depend on, be right about, or see coming. Even if the outcome validates your worst fear, having an expectation met—or exceeded—is pretty satisfying. I’ve been thinking about the cognitive distortion of mind reading, but you knew that.
“But wait,” you wonder, “why would a tarot reader be against mind reading?”
Mind reading as a parlor trick or byproduct of your spirituality is awesome, but the cognitive distortion of mind reading kinda sucks. Unless you want to turn the most cherished parts of your life into a self-sabotage minefield. In which case, keep doing it.
As the name implies, the cognitive distortion of mind reading means you believe—often wrongly—that you already know what the other person is thinking. Mind reading is not only a display of bad manners and poor boundaries, but it is also a cognitive distortion because you are assuming a relationship between two things that may not actually exist. Your presumption often persists for three reasons. One, you never asked the other person what they were thinking or what their rationale was for behaving the way they did. Two, you never bothered to look for or examine any evidence that didn’t support your belief. Three, you have emotional agendas, prejudices, and hidden baggage that mean more to you than any objective evidence in this situation.
Mind reading looks way subtler than some eccentric fortune teller hovering their hands over a crystal ball for dramatic emphasis. It might show up in your life as:
- Always being proven right about certain people, which leads you to believe you just know what their motives are.
- That scheming in-law who starts most of her sentences with, “I just know what you’re thinking…”
- Your coworker arrives 10 minutes late to a meeting, then later tells you they just know everyone thinks they don’t take this job seriously.
- Your new romantic main dish texts you a couple hours after they normally do. You break up with them because you just know they’re cheating.
- Political candidates faking ads because they just know you’re voting on blind emotion and won’t research it.
- Pretty much anything the current administration has said about gun control, since they just know that you have never—and probably will never—research the history of the Second Amendment, what the current gun control bills are proposing, or what it would even take to repeal the Second Amendment. (HInt: the Second Amendment was created so that private citizens could create a militia for the government, not Ammon Bundy-type stand offs. Double Hint: there are bigger fish to fry than repealing an amendment.)
- Your roommate leaves their dishes in the sink for the millionth time this week. You’re pissed. Not because you’re tired of picking up after them, but because you just know they’re leaving their garbage around because they clearly don’t care about anyone else.
Notice a couple themes in these examples? Mind reading involves believing you know what someone’s true beliefs and motives are, despite often ignoring available evidence. This particular cognitive distortion is highly disrespectful because you are assuming that you are more capable and perceptive than the other person, which is about as opposite of the definition of respect that you can get. Anyone using this cognitive distortion in your direction is automatically assuming you are less intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy, objective, competent, savvy, or just plain less than they are because they somehow know what you’re thinking or feeling more than you do. If you recognize yourself in any of these examples, please stop because you’re ruining your relationships by being arrogant as fuck. You’re also closing yourself off to learning new perspectives and/or developing the emotional maturity necessary for true self-improvement. P.S. You are also potentially giving yourself astronomical levels of social anxiety.
If mind reading is something you don’t want following you into the New Normal (™), here is a free Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) workbook to get you started. You can also try these journal questions:
- What are three situations where you are likely to engage in mind reading? For each situation, answer the following:
- Who else was involved in this situation? How do you normally feel about them?
- What are three things you assume about this person?
- What is at least one piece of evidence that makes your assumptions true?
- What is at least one piece of evidence that makes your assumptions false?
- What is at least one thing you assumed about them in this situation?
- What did they say or do in this situation that led you to make the assumption you did?
- What is at least one thing you were thinking in this situation?
- What is at least one thing you were feeling in this situation?
- How did you express your assumptions to the other person? How did they react?
- How do you think your assumptions about this person are affecting your relationship with them in a positive way?
- How do you think your assumptions about this person are affecting your relationship in a negative way?
- If you had the chance to redo this situation, would you make the same assumptions? Why or why not?
- What is a situation when mind reading worked in a positive way for you? What about this situation made it positive?
- What is a situation when mind reading worked in a negative way for you? What about this situation made it negative?
- What are three assumptions you usually make about others?
- Mind reading works off the assumption that you somehow know more about what the other person must be thinking or feeling than they do. How did you assume that you knew more than they did in this situation?
- What are three questions you can ask in order to challenge your assumptions?
As always, I have to mention the MindBody/Wellness Research and Science Network group on Facebook. The chick who runs it takes an evidence-based approach to holistic topics. I appreciate her common sense-meets-spirituality way of doing things.
Once again, I’m late with this reading due to some work-related chaos that I could not account for, plan around, or control. Hopefully this is the last week of it, but I can’t promise anything. Anyhoo, I found this video to be a soothing thing to ponder:
Aaaannnnyyyyhoo, Onto the Reading, Shall We…?
NOTE: Yes, I know that I’m almost a week late again. I’m trying to minimize the impact of work-related chaos on my literary and tarot endeavors, but it’s been a challenge. I’m sorry.
I asked the cards what we need to know about the week of 9/22/20 – 9/29/20 and I got: The Hermit (number 9, self-sufficiency, inner guidance, seeking one’s own answers, solitude, time to go within, preparing for a major change, reviewing one’s journey and choices thus far, and learning about oneself); Four of Cups (number 4, apathy, more of the same, boredom, a relationship that has become stale, stagnation, and the need to change one’s routine); Ten of Swords (number 10, gossip, betrayal, backstabbing, slander, the end of a cycle of arguments, leaving a bad situation, and mental stress); and the Hanged Man (number 12, suspended animation, wait and see, the need to surrender a part of oneself that is no longer useful, the need to look at something differently, the need for patience and tolerance, recognizing negative patterns, and the need to let go). Huh. This is the third week in a row that we have encountered 9 energy. For you numerology types, 9 energy is about striking a balance between makin’ moves and acceptance. This energy is about change and transcendence, while understanding the lesson up till now. The Hermit—which embodies the aspect of 9 energy that requires stillness and going within—is my first clue that we are dealing with preparing for an ending that needs to happen. The Hermit is a card of withdrawal, of taking a step back and evaluating the evidence. I feel like approaching your week in this way will give you the best results, as the Hanged Man also suggests a lesson at play. If you don’t consciously decide to take an observer’s role this week, I feel like the next two cards—the Four of Cups and the Ten of Swords—are suggesting an event that forces you to do so. The Four of Cups is a card of apathy, of a situation that’s boring and/or no longer working for you. Bored, dissatisfied people tend to be lethargic and negative, but possibly comfortable wallowing in their own dirty diaper. They act shitty not only to express their boredom, but also because they’re secure enough to know that nobody will call them on their nonsense. The Ten of Swords enhances the garbage vibes, as it is a card of betrayal and gossip. It is also a card of mental stress and deciding enough is enough. I feel like the Four and Ten together create an a-ha moment, when either you or the other person involved decide to pull the plug. I don’t feel like anything that happens this week will be out of the ordinary, but you will be different. You’re just ready for the next chapter to start is all. I feel like both parties involved are ready for something different, but have become too comfortable to do anything about it. Whatever division that happens will end up being a welcome relief, but maybe not right away. The Hanged Man further underscores the feeling of being stuck. Like the Ten of Swords, though, the Hanged Man suggests a separation is imminent. The trick to the Hanged Man is being prepared to sacrifice something. This could mean being the first person involved to speak up or walk away, but it will definitely require that you change something about your thoughts and behavior patterns. This requires that you acknowledge your part in why the situation wasn’t working. You need to own what you did wrong. I don’t think anyone else involved will think about their part in events, but you need to evaluate your own behavior so that you can move on with a clean slate. In case you need a soundtrack, try this song:
A quick update on my readings: I have been asked a few times on Instagram if I have a free reading program for new clients. Ummm, no. I used to offer free readings, but please believe me when I say it really didn’t work out for me. (It worked out so badly that there’s no way in hell I’m going to try giving free readings again.) I give props to any readers who can make free readings work for them, but I’m not that reader. I also understand that nobody needs to be paying $40 – $60 for a reading right now. That’s fair. Plus there are many other people and organizations—namely animal charities, coronavirus relief charities,Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, NAMI, food banks, and the official George Floyd Go Fund Me page. So I’m offering $5 one-question mini readings if you donate to:
- Any nonprofit animal shelter.
- The Humane Society.
- Your local food bank.
- The United Way.
- Coronavirus relief charities.
- Black Lives Matter.
- The NAACP.
- The ACLU.
- The Official Go Fund Me page for the Floyd family.
Here’s what you need to know about the one-question mini readings:
- Make your $5 donation to any of the above causes.
- Screenshot me a copy of the receipt with your payment and personal info blurred or crossed out.
- Send me one question. I can’t accommodate follow up questions at this time.
If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest. Hey, sharing is caring.
Those wildfires on the West Coast displaced thousands of innocent pets. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to help. If you would like to help the pets affected by the wildfires, please click here. Also, the American Humane Society is looking for donations for these pets. You can donate here.
For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia? Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires. Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires. You can get those here.
If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection. Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here. Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com
P.S. I managed to publish the first part of my first novel a few months ago!! I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here. Please read and review it. Thank you!!
Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod? Check out our latest relationship article. He’s coming back next month, FYI. If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here. It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three. Part Four is right here. I think you should go get it, Tiger!