I have a soft spot for the Nine of Wands. Every time this card comes up in a reading, I want to hug him and tell him it’s going to be okay. I can very much relate to the tense posture and wounded energy present and can also appreciate how strong he is. On edge and waiting for the next shoe to drop, the Nine of Wands has a message for you: You are almost to the finish line. To make sure you cross, you must remember to set healthy boundaries.
Card: Nine of Wands
Deck: Rider-Waite Deck
9: almost to the end of your journey
Meaning: bravery, endurance, challenge, boundaries, defensive
Message: You are almost to the finish line. Do not give up. Set your boundaries to protect your energy.
Let’s back up a bit. Imagine you woke up a year ago with a dream in your heart and a will to make it happen. To give it a bit more punch, we will say your dream is to finally quit your job and start your own business. You know that this calling to become an entrepreneur is aligned with your soul purpose and eagerly begin the journey to manifesting a more fulfilling and meaningful life. You have a vision and diligently take the steps that will bring it to reality.
Along the way, you encounter challenges and roadblocks. As with any new opportunity, you face the uncomfortableness that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone as well as the usual start-up obstacles. Other people, well-meaning or not, feel as if it is their duty to let you know why it won’t work or give you their opinion on how dumb it is to leave a well-paying job to start something that has no guarantee. You move through it but eventually start to feel bruised, battered and tired. Wondering if you made a huge mistake, self-doubt starts to set in. You want to quit.
What Healthy Boundaries Are/Are Not
A healthy boundary is a clear and communicated limit of what you will and will not accept from other people. It is not hoping another person will read your mind and know what you want.
Why Set Healthy Boundaries?
You are here for a reason. When a dream is planted in you, it is an urge to move forward on your path and do what you came here to do. You can pretty much guarantee that the universe will test you to see if you have the courage, persistence and resilience to stay the course. Each obstacle is an opportunity for growth and learning and if used correctly, can catapult you further ahead in your journey. The problem comes when you allow these challenges to damage your confidence.
Whether it is a person or a situation, how you face adversity matters. Are you able to stand strong and tall even though you are worn out or do you wall yourself off, unable to move forward? Your comfort level with setting healthy boundaries will make the final determination.
Protect Your Energy
There will always be people that want to suck the energy out of you. You know who I’m talking about – the ones who think they know what is best for you and bring their black cloud of negativity with them. It’s not hard to figure out when your energy is draining as your body immediately responds with tightness in your chest, knots in your stomach and feeling immediately worn out.
When you have nothing left in your tank, it is damn near impossible to move forward. Even the best laid plans will not come to fruition if you are not taking action due to exhaustion. You must set boundaries to close yourself off from any unwanted negativity and energy suck.
Ensure Your Happiness
Boundaries are to happiness as water is to the ocean – without the former, the latter wouldn’t exist. Your happiness depends on how much you allow others to influence your emotions and feelings. If you have a co-dependent tendency to look to others to validate your worth or make decisions for you, you lack respect for yourself. When you lack self-respect, finding happiness in your life is extremely hard.
Maintain Your Health
We all know that long periods of stress are not good for you (if you want proof, click here). How you interact with others is a strong indicator of how much stress you allow into your daily life and is entirely controllable by you. Your boundaries (or lack of) tell people how you wish to be treated. If you do not communicate clearly what is and is not okay, expect your lines to be crossed.
The pressure to conform is real and your higher self is not happy about it. You are not meant to live your life for other people, yet you do when you succumb to the pressure of others to do what is deemed acceptable. When you learn how to set and enforce your own boundaries, you send a clear message to the people around you that you are following your soul path and nothing is going to stop you.
Why it’s Hard to Set Healthy Boundaries
- You are a people pleaser
- You are afraid to say no (or feel guilty about it)
- You weren’t taught how to set boundaries as a child
- You don’t know yourself
- You feel you don’t deserve a say in how you are treated
How to Establish Your Own Boundaries
Who Are You?
Contrary to popular belief, you alone know who you truly are. No one – not your family, your spouse or your best friend – knows the real you unless you actively and consciously live your truth every single day. As you travel your path, you continue to grow and reacquaint yourself with the true essence of your soul, uncovering what resonates with your unique truth.
I say all of that to get one point across: You know what’s best for you. Throw out the “rules” of what is and is not acceptable. Do not conform to what doesn’t feel right. This is YOUR life, not anyone else’s. As you get clearer on this, you will inevitably step on some toes and hurt some feelings. People who know you may expect you to act a certain way because you always have. If you get nothing else out of this blog, just remember you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, ever.
Get a jumpstart on finding yourself with the 5-Day Who Are You? Challenge
What is Your Why?
What is important to you? What do you stand for? What moves you? Knowing the answers to these questions with absolute certainty is what will help you get through the toughest times on your journey. Take the time to really think about this and even better, write it down. When you know why you are pursuing your dream, you can dust yourself off and keep going. This is the fuel that allows you to find the courage to stand up for yourself and live your truth.
What Is/Is Not Okay?
It’s time to get super specific. You have to be crystal clear on what you will and will not allow. The easiest way to find out is to pay attention to your body, feelings and emotions. As you set out to create your own boundaries, use them as your roadmap to guide you to what is and is not right for you. This requires you to actually feel your emotions, not suppress them (which if you aren’t good with setting boundaries, you do). It’s important to remember that emotions are just energy, not good or bad. Don’t label what comes up for you as positive and negative, just allow them to be.
As you feel your feelings, your body will respond accordingly. Tight and tense indicates a red flag while open and expansive is a green light all the way. Get used to asking your body for the answers. It is a physical manifestation of your inner self speaking. Knowing how to distinguish when your ego vs. your intuition is showing up is massively helpful in setting your own boundaries.
Intuition (Higher Self)
Who to Set Healthy Boundaries With
Absolutely everyone. Including yourself. Once you have determined what you will and won’t allow, it is imperative you communicate to those around you and be consistent.
Anyone who is in your life and cares about you will respect the boundaries you have set even if they don’t like them. If they don’t, reevaluate your relationship. When you walk away from those who do not honor your limits, you show yourself respect.
Final Thoughts from the Nine of Wands
You have a dream, a goal, a purpose. The challenges and obstacles on your path have not been easy. You are bruised and battered and tired. Do not give up. Do not allow anyone to diminish what you have accomplished. Do not give your power away to anyone else by allowing them to disrespect your boundaries. The Nine of Wands reminds you that you are facing your final block before you achieve your goal. Stand tall and proud in your truth. Victory is around the next corner.
Where does the Nine of Wands show up in your life? Let me know in the comments!
Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.