Nine of Swords
Allow yourself to look forward to the future with optimism.
The Nine of this suit has a special resonance with the Middle Ages, because it figures the plight of a woman who is alone in the world, during the centuries when women had no personal rights, no ability to inherit property or use the law in their own defense. We generally see her sitting up in bed weeping, grieving and in fear of abandonment because of her vulnerability, wondering what will happen to her now that her protector (father, brother, husband, or son) is gone.
The swords above her head may indicate that the loss has come through some cruel conflict, the outcome of which has left her behind as chattel, the spoils of war. Really what we are looking at is the price of pride, which creates losers as a side effect of glorifying winners. The woman in the picture represents the concerns of the heart, the damage to the soul and to vulnerable ones, when the ego-mind becomes so invested in control and domination that it does not count the human costs. A sensitive, subtle, heartfelt approach to nature (the "feminine") is trampled and thrown aside in service to a "winner takes all" mentality.
In the Advice Position
Honestly admit to yourself that you have sacrificed time and energy on a situation that simply does not work.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Nine of Swords in this position advises you to confront your fear of being alone and acknowledge the different limits you may have put on yourself because of that fear. In the name of being safe, you may have adhered to lower standards than you are capable of achieving. If so, then you may have resisted striking out on your own. Perhaps you have bargained away creativity and joy in order to avoid being challenged. These kinds of tradeoffs never work.
This could be a time to cut your losses. If so, recognize how much time and energy you have sacrificed to a way of being that's not right for you. If you can do this you will look back at this time in your life as a turning point. This may be an opportunity to heal as you shed a heavy burden that weighs you down.