“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
We find comfort in routine, in the “norm”. Even when suffering is the norm this remains true.
The individuals in the 5 of Pentacles are clearly suffering. Poverty, sorrow and hardship seem to surround them. They walk through the snow, heads down, barefoot and miserable. It reminds me of couples who fight all the time, but stay together anyway because of the fear of being alone. They appear to be in front of some sort of church. It almost looks as if the lights are on, and I get a warm, inviting impression. The message I get from my guides when I see this card in a reading is, “Look up!” All they need to do is look up and see that they can change their situation by seeking the comfort and support the church offers.
I am not a fan of organized religion, and have never felt especially welcome in churches, but I once found myself in much the same position as these two lost souls. I was locked out of my house, wandering the streets of my small town. There was about 2 feet of snow on the ground and I couldn’t reach anyone by cell phone to help me out. Just as I was settling on being down-in-the-dumps I looked up and noticed I was standing outside of a large Catholic church. I suddenly received an image of this card in my mind and decided I should go inside.
When I sat down in front of a large statue of Jesus I began to cry, quite unexpectedly. I cried for about 10 minutes and then I took out my journal and started writing. After that I meditated in the pew. I spent about an hour in the church all alone, listening to the water of the baptismal bath and watching the sun go down through the windows. I was so grateful for the warmth and peaceful solitude I was awarded there. I realized that I could have spent the whole night, fumbling around in the dark, my head down and my feet frozen. Instead I stepped out of my comfort-zone and took shelter in the church.
The point of my story and my interpretation of the 5 of Pentacles is that, no matter what is causing our suffering there is always something that serves as a way out. Change is inevitable and discomfort is an indicator that it is time to change. Look around you. What are you most afraid of? Where is an unlikely place for you to seek refuge? Ask yourself, would it hurt to give these things a try? Explore the things that make you feel uncomfortable, because they might be the very things that will offer you the refuge you need to release yourself from your own suffering.
Remember, we are not meant to suffer forever. If you are unhappy, learn what is at the root of your unhappiness and let go of it. Moving on and embracing change is the way to freedom from suffering.