According to The Art of War "To win without fighting is best." But what happens when you find yourself locked into a battle you simply can not win? Perhaps it is a personal struggle you have been fighting for years, but no matter how hard you try, things always get worse instead of better. Oftentimes these are struggles where our own personal ego gets in the way of our better judgement. These can be control issues where we think we should have - or must have - more power over the situation than we actually do. It can be a problem with finding ourselves unable to control an addiction such as drugs or alcohol. It can also be a problem in trying to control other persons, places, or things which are clearly outside our sphere of influence, but which we wish to control anyway. Still we exert our own ego to fight this battle to control either some substance or person or circumstance which, if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would have to admit, was clearly outside of our control. Yet we continue to push our own lives out of control trying to control the uncontrolable. Sounds like fun? Not really.
We are trained by our culture to "Never say die" to "Never give up, never surrender!" Yet when we are locked into a battle which we clearly can not win - at least not alone - it is usually best to acknowledge our limitations and surrender; at least for the moment. Sometimes we learn our life's lessons in moments of victory, and sometimes we learn them in moments of defeat. The Hanged Man card speaks to this. He speaks to a surrender of ego where the limited is let go of so that the Infinite can take over and lead the seeker into a better Way. The Hanged Man can be seen as a person who has been fighting a losing battle for a long, long time, who suddenly has the flash of insight which leads him/her to the seemingly insane conclusion: Victory Can Be Found Though Surrender & Sacrifice! The seeker surrenders and makes his/her sacrifice to discover to their surprise and contentment they are giving up garbage in exchange for gold! Thus, once at the point of acceptance, he/she makes this sacrifice with an air of gratitude and serenity surrounding them. The seeker finds a life without drugs or alcohol becomes a life without the problems drugs or alcohol has created. The seeker is able to recognize the insanity of trying to control other people or circumstances which he/she can not control, and turns the control over to the proper authority: Spirit as he/she understands Spirit, or God/Goddess as he/she understands God/Goddess. In this process of turning things over, the seeker finds joy, peace, and contentment, all through the act of surrender. This is when admitting your weakness turns into your one great strength!
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again thinking that this time the results are going to be different." -Anonymous
"Wisdom is not knowing what you know; it is admitting what you don't know" -Fr. Joe Martin