Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Breaking the Virtue Trap

St. FrancisFrederick Franck

These drawings were done for one reason only: to see before I die.
— Frederick Franck

The bottom line of discovering and recovering our sense to what is possible is to examine why we feel like we have to edit or defer who we are, in order to seem “good” or acceptable. What we must begin to grasp is the actual nature of what is best in us.

Julia writes, “By seeking the creator within and embracing our own gift of creativity, we learn to be spiritual in this world, to trust that God is good and so are we and so is all of creation. In this way, we avoid the Virtue Trap.”

We can learn to trust that we are not monsters; that our urge for expression, and the accompanying lifestyle adjustments that may be needed, are not selfish, crazy, indulgent or bad. They will not destroy the relationships that are honest ones; in fact, they will ultimately enhance them. We give those who love us the real “us” to love.

What is truly holy in us never requires that we sacrifice our passionate dreams, our wild creative desires. In fact, those desires come from what is truest, most authentic, and the sacred Love that is our actual nature.

Do you believe this? Are you ready to live it?

So today, I invite you to consider these questions in Julia’s Virtue Trap Quiz. I hope you’ll share your answers!

1. The biggest lack in my life is …

2. The greatest joy in my life is …

3. My largest time commitment is …

4. As I play more, I work …

5. I feel guilty that I am …

6. I worry that …

7. If my dreams come true, my family will …

8. I sabotage myself so people will …

9. If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I …

10. One reason I get sad sometimes is …

Finally, she asks us this: Does your life serve you, or only others?

Next week, perhaps in magical synchronicity with the theme of your Midsummer rites this weekend, we’ll share a few of our forbidden joys and secret desires.

Share this:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • June 19, 2009, 1:02 pm joanna brightbrook

    1. The biggest lack in my life is lack of poverty. Thank Goodness!

    2. The greatest joy in my life is learning to expand my attention and awareness.

    3. My largest time commitment is dreamtime.

    4. As I play more, I work more creatively.

    5. If I were to feel guilty, it might be about keeping some of my best ideas to myself. But mostly I think that when the time is right these ideas will break out of their nurturing shells.

    6. If I allowed myself to worry, I would worry that if I fully express my true self others will think I’m going crazy. (This is not an idle worry for someone who has been given a mental health diagnosis!)

    7. If my dreams come true, my chosen family will rejoice with me and relish my fulfillment!

    8. If I occasionally sabotage myself, it is so people will not notice me as much.

    9. If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I sometimes take a long time to formulate responses to things that hurt me. And then what really makes me mad is that other people don’t always think my responses are valid if they don’t fall within their certain time frame.

    10. One reason I get sad sometimes is that some people just don’t care.

    11. One thing that I love about my life is being surrounded by growing things. (I won't end on a sad note!)

  • June 19, 2009, 4:24 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    YES! YES! YES! Love this, Joanna!

  • June 19, 2009, 6:51 pm freak22

    I became aware that I was stuck in this virtue trap weeks ago when we made the list of why we cant be an artist. most of my list was because of time I feel I should spend on others.

    1. The biggest lack in my life is unfortunately money so I'm stuck in a job I don't really like because I can't risk losing it.

    2. The greatest joy in my life is the love of my chosen family.

    3. My largest time commitment is taking care of my home gardening and upkeep.

    4. As I play more, I work with a better attitude.

    5. I feel guilty that I am not as focused on my writing as I would like to be.

    6. I worry that my life is a bit our of my control some days.

    7. If my dreams come true, my (chosen) family will have a great big party with me and celebrate till dawn.

    8. I sabotage myself so people will not criticizes me. by saying my work is no good or that I am selfish.

    9. If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I because of the economy and my family financial situation I can't leave my job and it is a very spirit draining job some days.

    10. One reason I get sad sometimes is I can't see where my life is going.

    11. My chosen family helps me every day to follow my dreams and they give me the strength to pick up my pen and write more.

    I agree with Joanna I refuse to go out on a sad not.

    take care
    Heather

  • June 19, 2009, 9:16 pm Star

    1. Biggest lacks in my life are failing body parts and time to do all the things I dream of.
    2. Greatest joys are my home and being retired with a small pension and health care plan, so I can follow this path with more ease.
    3.Largest time commitment is taking care of the failing body parts each day!
    4. As I play more, I get more ideas of things I want to do.
    5. Feeling guilty about spending much of my discretionary money on beads.
    6. I worry that I may lose a critical physical ability long before I accomplish my dreams.
    7. When my dreams come true, my family will be happy for me and support me.
    8. I sabotage myself with bad habits.
    9. I'm angry that I got started so late and have lots of catching up to do with my art. I'm also angry that the culture around me thrives on stress, rewards addictive behaviors and vicarious living, and does not take care of and treat all members of the community with equality and fairness.
    10. I get sad because I am an empath and can feel the pain of others. I have to stay away from bad news for this reason.
    11. I love finding bargains and beautiful, shiny, sparkly, creative things that delight my senses.

    Star*

  • June 20, 2009, 5:13 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    You all are just simply .. amazing. Beautiful. Thank you so much..

    – B.

  • June 20, 2009, 5:56 am ARIE

    . The biggest lack in my life is …Is time to do what I like. About 42 weekly working hours + about 10 hours on the road to work and back does not leave much time left. Besides the job is not that well paid.

    2. The greatest joy in my life is …To be outside in nature. To drink from springs, to wander in the forests, to lay down and feel the energies of mother earth. To hear the singing of the birds. To smell the various scents of plants and herbs. To gaze at the stars in complete darkness. And the list goes on…

    3. My largest time commitment is …To my job. Grrrrr…

    4. As I play more, I work …connected to my intuition and get better results in whatever I am doing.

    5. I feel guilty that I am …Not earning enough money to be able to give more to my family as we are living on a very tight budget.

    6. I worry that …my children won't have the necessary means to make it without additional financial support.

    7. If my dreams come true, my family will …appreciate me more.

    8. I sabotage myself so people will …like me.

    9. If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I …trapped with no other alternative to earn enouph money. Things may be worse off.

    10. One reason I get sad sometimes is …that I didn't choose the right profession (Architecture or Lanscape architecture) when I had the opportunity to do so. I made a mistake then, but couldn't realize it then.

    Finally, she asks us this:
    Does your life serve you, or only others?

    In a 24 hour day taking off about 8hours sleep, leaving 15 hours, about 11 goes to my job (including driving. This leaves about 4 hours.
    Taking off breakfast, dinner, shower, cleaning up, etc, I'm left with 2 hours. During these two hours I do some meditation, exercise and read. Not much time though to do any creative work.

    Arie

  • June 22, 2009, 2:12 pm Thalia

    Well all right I predict I am going to bring this conversation down a bit. I woke up very, very angry today. Probably I'm mostly burnt out from going to a convention thing with my brother. It was fun, but I've been in extrovert mode with no time to myself for three days straight. Did I mention I am extremely introverted? Like 100% on those Myers-Brigg tests? Oh and that my brother is really narcissistic and I've spent the entire weekend (which incidentally fell on one of my High Holy Days) doing what he wanted to do?

    1. The biggest lack in my life is money and energy.

    2. The greatest joy in my life is I don't know. I honestly can't think of one right now. No, that's not true. It's my Muse, my daimon.

    3. My largest time commitment is sleep. Or attempting to sleep, anyway. Also to spiritual work. I have a lot of time, actually, and I am grateful for it, though I don't feel like I'm getting anything done.

    4. As I play more, I work… I don't honestly even know how to finish that sentence.

    5. I feel guilty that I am here.

    6. I worry that I won't be able to pay my bills in the short term. In the long term I worry that I will never get ahead and so never get out of here. I also worry that money won't solve it after all; that I will be stuck here because my mother is getting old and needs someone to look after her more and more as time goes on.

    7. If my dreams come true, my family will be abandoned. Especially my 82 year old mother.

    8. I sabotage myself so people will leave me alone. (Actually, I wanted to write leave me the f*ck alone. Ah, poor overstimulated introvert me.)

    9. If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I… I'm angry about just about everything these days. I'm angry that I am not allowed/expected to do what I want to. Especially when contrasted with the expectations put on my brother, that of course he gets to have and pursue dreams, because he is not the one expected to drop things for the family. I am angry also that I am expected to not have any dreams and then blamed for not having them.

    10. One reason I get sad sometimes is… Jesus where do I begin? It feels like there is no way out.

    Finally, she asks us this: Does your life serve you, or only others?

    What life?

    Yeah, pissy today.

  • July 4, 2009, 9:06 am Jen

    1. The biggest lack in my life is passion. I feel kind of flat.

    2. The greatest joy in my life is self-discovery.

    3. My largest time commitment is caring for my 3-month old daughter and keeping up with the house.

    4. As I play more, I work less. I know this isn't the answer I "should" have, but it's the answer I feel. There's only so much time in the day, and I have so many things to get done. Playtime takes away from work time… Doesn't it?

    5. I feel guilty that I'm not the "perfect" wife and mother.

    6. I worry that I'll do something to scar my daughter the way my parents scarred me.

    7. If my dreams come true, my family will be enriched.

    8. I sabotage myself so that others will not see me fail.

    9. If I let myself feel it, I'm angry that I have worn masks and pretended for so long that I don't know who "I" am any more.

    10. One reason I get sad sometimes is that I feel a distance from the people closest to me and it makes me feel alone.

    I think I have a lot more inner work to do than some of your other commenters!