Life Challenges: Play to win, don’t play to avoid losing

Imagine you are in a batting cage, and you have balls being hurtled towards you, and you just keep knocking them out of the park in a frenzy. You don’t know how many balls are coming, or how long this game is going to go on for, and you’re not even sure how long you can last here. It’s exhausting. The balls are coming from all different directions with no real pattern to them. You are using so much energy and attention on just avoiding getting hurt, that you don’t take the time to regroup, to question your gameplay and game tactics, or to even change your stance.

Instead of taking this approach to life, we could stop for a second, and figure out which direction these balls (life challenges) are coming from (and realize that there is actually some kind of organization amongst the madness), and how many balls are coming and at what speed. With this in mind, you can approach this game much better. You will actually have a chance to play to win instead of playing to avoid losing.

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How to own your dark side

There was a time in my life, from around age 13 to age 16 where I felt like I was evil. It isn’t that I thought I was possessed or anything like that – no, I just felt like a really bad person. I struggled with this feeling for so long. I remember telling my friends at the time “I am so evil, I just know I am, and it sucks and it hurts” and they would listen to me lovingly, and say “I don’t understand why you keep saying that – I don’t think you are evil in any way” but it had no effect on me. They would always ask me what made me think I was so evil, and I couldn’t come up with any real list – it was just a sinking feeling I couldn’t describe. I felt as though I did bad things, wanted bad things, hurt people for my own purpose.

But all it was, was that I hurt myself and when you hurt yourself – everything hurts too. I didn’t own my dark – so much so that it overcame me and filled my life. It’s all I could see and feel. As soon as I began the process of spiritual inquiry, to really ask myself these questions about myself (and to actually answer them too), I realized that hey – I’m a pretty neat person. And that I wasn’t inflicted with some all consuming evilness – all I had was wounded self love. At my moment of realization (though it was not really a “moment” but a work in progress), I may not have loved myself, but I sure as hell realized there was a lot to love.

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