A couple of years ago, when I left a long-term temp assignment to go back to school, the lovely woman who I worked with gave me a gift from her corporate swag closet. The closet had some logo stuff like hats and golf balls as well as coffee mugs with those motivational slogans on them (like Demotivators, but for real), and my particular gift was a a deck of cards called The Power of Intention Cards.

The cards have an “intention” printed on the front side, and an explanation on the back of how to use the intention. They are the creation of self-help author and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer – you may have flipped past his show on PBS, which usually features the bald-headed guru standing in a dark room speaking to an assembly of folks in folding chairs.

As you may already have realized, I am not much for motivational speakers (except perhaps Matt Foley, RIP Chris Farley). And though I kind of poo-pooed the cards at first, there is something freaky about the way the same two or three cards keep coming up for again and again. I try to pick one at random every few days or so, first shuffling the deck and cutting it a few times, then fanning out the cards in one hand while I close my eyes and run the other hand over the cards until I feel some pull towards one particular card.

Often I get this one:

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It reads, “In any moment in which you’re experiencing thoughts that make you feel sick or bad, do your best to change them to support the idea of feeling good… work to activate thoughts that predict recovery and overall well-being.” In other words, think positive in order to feel good. This idea has some merit, in that anxiety and stress can make you sick. And we tend to take good health for granted until we get sick – something my friend said yesterday as she was suffering through the pain of a gum infection that has required two surgeries inside of the last week, and before that, took far too long and too many visits to specialists to diagnose properly.

So maybe it’s a preventative thing, reminding me to be thankful for overall good health even when my anxiety goes into overtime and makes me worry like a grandma.

The day before yesterday, I got this card:

Forgiveness

That day, I went into work, and halfway through the morning, I was fired. Called into a meeting, given a box, told to pack it up, and leave. It was the closest thing I’ve experienced to a professional hit – a swift, cold, coordinated attack. Bang bang, done. There were a couple of mitigating kindnesses: the HR girl called me a taxi; my boss told me to call her if I was interested in some future tech writing work. And my co-worker and former classmate sent me some consoling e-mails, one that began with “WTF!!!!” in a huge font. I really enjoyed that.

The card reads “Revenge, anger, and hatred are exceedingly low energies that keep you from matching up with attributes of the universal life force. A simple thought of forgiveness toward anyone who might have angered you in the past will raise you to the level of Spirit and aid you in your individual intentions.” Hmmm… suck it up and brush it off, Dr. Dyer?

The last couple days I’ve spent walking, thinking, reading and writing – and talking about the event. I’m not sure where to go now. I’m not sure I would like another job. I picked the card again today, but I think it’s because I’m NOT ready to forgive. While you can’t hold on to anger and resentment forever, you needn’t rush out to hug snakes and other low-lying predators either – even if they can’t help what they are.

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