I've met a lot of people in my life who don't seem to be able to take their energy 'off the boil'. Instead, they run themselves ragged, concerned with every little problem. They may feel guilty if they take even half an hour for themselves. They may find it difficult to switch off after a high drama situation, still mulling everything over and permitting negativity to absorb them like a thick fog. I often think of these people when I see the Four of Swords. It is a message to them. Sometimes the message is, 'Sleep on it.' Sometimes it's, 'Don't give what you don't have.' A lot of the time it's simply, 'Chill out, for god's sake!'
Learning how to decompress is difficult for people who live life at a super fast pace, but there are ways and means of achieving tension release. Firstly, a person plagued by a mammoth sense of duty must feel that they are entitled to take time out for themselves. They often have to begin with understanding their own worth and appreciating the value of self-care. When the Four of Swords shows up in a reading, I'm often interested in how much the client is prepared to give themselves a break. If they find themselves scared or disgusted by the idea of just kicking back and enjoying a good book, I know that they need some guidance to help them realise that they deserve down time and they also need it to stay sane in a ridiculous world. Highly ambitious people also have difficulty with the concepts of relaxation, recreation time and, well, stopping. These people are yet to realise that by refusing themselves the time and space they need to collect their thoughts and connect with their core, they are actually jeopardising their own success. Everyone knows you can't run on empty. Sometimes people with stars in their eyes need a gentle reminder of this.
The Four of Swords often calls for an action plan of sorts - a road map towards inner peace. It is a difficult thing to begin to work towards, but the rewards are invaluable.