I’ve been playing a lot of board games lately with my wife (part of an overall strategy of weening away from this Internet that I’m writing for today and spending more time with family, but also because games like chess, backgammon, and others are good for the mind–and of course, they’re fun!).
At first I was winning much more often than mere odds would dictate. For some reason (I later found out why), God wanted me to get a good taste of winning. I took it in stride, and perhaps felt a bit “entitled”–to use an over-used word!
But lately, my wife has been winning more. When I first started to lose, I would feel a sense of anger (“Rematch!). I noticed how hard it was to walk away after a loss.
My wife pointed out that if I were to win every time, then the game would not be fun for her. I hadn’t looked at it from her perspective before. And I understood what she meant.
That perspective has made it a little easier for me to lose when necessary, but it still bothers me to lose.
You may be thinking, “What’s wrong with that? I hate to lose too! That’s NORMAL.” Many famous people have said that they “hate to lose more than they like to win.”
But this whole “hate to lose” personality has caused me to reflect a bit, and scratching below the surface, I see that for many years (decades–actually pretty much as far back as I can remember), I have indeed hated to lose, and have willfully looked for ways to “win.”
This could be “winning” at anything–often confrontations of one kind or another. This has created a pressure to “win” in confrontations, and sometimes friction with those around me–it makes them uncomfortable.
“Winning” and “Losing” in the Spiritual World
I have written on these pages of meditation (quiet prayer) being of help to me, as I began to practice it at the age of about twenty-four. And as I have done it properly, it has certainly helped. But my mind even managed to take something as spiritual as meditation (and the lifestyle of overcoming the blocks that have held me back) and turned it into some type of game.
The late Roy Masters used to say, “Don’t resent–say something. Don’t resent–say nothing.” Obviously the key is not to resent. But my mind somehow made the key to be sure to “say something” if “necessary.” I’d go around looking for an excuse to “say something” so I could “win.”
This would feed my sense of self–that I was not letting people take advantage of me.
You may or may not be able to relate. We all have quirks and ways in which our mind has misled us–usually under the guise of doing some type of “good.”
It is not until fairly recently that I have begun to understand (at least a little) that the spiritual life is about allowing GOD to save us through His son’s ultimate sacrifice–NOT somehow “earning” our salvation by being some combination of Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson (sorry, younger people, for this old reference, but you get the point!).
Allowing the Spirit to work through me has been the hardest lesson for me to accept. I would bet it may be the same for you too. Feel free to let me know if this is indeed the hardest lesson for you to accept, and if not, WHAT has been the hardest lesson for YOU to accept?
In this Christmas season, my wish for you and for me is that we can relax enough to accept God’s love for us. I hope that that love permeates your being, and spreads to your family and community. I have no doubt that we will already have “won” when we can accept and appreciate this love.
“Merry Christmas to you and yours,” as my parents’ generation used to say. May we all experience “life more abundantly as Christ promised!”
To your Health, Success, and Freedom!
Patrick Rooney, Founder
Patrick Rooney is the Founder of OldSchoolUs.com. He communicates clearly and fearlessly during perilous times about natural health, success, and freedom. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].
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