By Cathy Eck
What is the Real Flip Side of Winning?
Charlie Sheen had a point even if he did take things to the extreme. Humans are conditioned to believe that winning is everything and losing is a reason to try, try again or try harder. We don’t want to be labeled a loser, but we are never a loser unless we lose sight of the real prize.
We often focus our eyes on a shallow or material prize that usually has a very important hidden meaning. It is that hidden desire or fear that shows us where we need some mental healing.
Maybe we think that winning will cause us to be someone special or deserve greater things in life. Winning might bring us money so we don’t have to struggle anymore. Winning might open the door so we can express our talent or gift. You see it isn’t the win we want, we want what appears to be missing underneath. The irony is that we aren’t ever missing anything; what we want has simply been covered up by a belief — a belief that someone else gave us and isn’t even true.
It is actually our losses that expose our beliefs most often. When we understand that, our loses can become even greater wins.
What is Rightfully Mine?
The big question that we are all really asking is: What is rightfully mine? Often we want something because it made someone else happy. Our parents and friends push us into their perspective of happiness and convince us to follow a proper career or marry a proper partner. But following what others feel is right for us, takes us down their path. We may end up getting what is right for them and sadly have to bear the enormous pain of watching another get what is right for us.
It isn’t selfless to give up what is rightfully ours. People who give up their desires can’t support others who do choose to follow their heart. People who abandon their desires become jealous of other people’s success even if the person deserves it. They lay guilt on those who succeed. Often we believe them and start to question our motivation or desires until we are company for their misery.
Sometimes people think they want what we have. To feel good, they have to mentally prove we don’t deserve our success. Other times, they make our desire wrong saying it isn’t the right desire. Maybe it isn’t right for them; but more often, they just don’t think they can achieve it.
Life as an Individual Sport
When I can’t make sense of life in the present, I look to the schools of initiation to see what they thought about a particular subject. They didn’t have rules or laws or even practices; they had a perspective that was very different from our perspective. They saw life as an individual sport. Competition, from their point of view, caused people to lose themselves. Competition and games were part of the illusory world where pain, suffering, and problems existed. Competition caused you to focus on the opponent instead of focusing on your True Self.
Just look at the US 2012 Presidential Election. Each candidate is more focused on what the other plans to do, has done in the past (right or wrong), or whether they are telling the truth. They are both losers because neither is focused on their own integrity, their own commitment, and their own love for the people of America. Sadly, neither of them are Presidential material from ancient standards.
The initiates saw competing as a vehicle for self-improvement. Winning or losing was irrelevant in their view of competition. If you’ve ever played tennis or chess with a better player to improve your game, you understand this. You want to learn from the other or push yourself harder, and you feel that you’ve won just by playing with them.
When life is viewed this way, you really can’t lose. If you gained an insight into yourself while competing, you won. If both people gained insights, the interaction was win-win. The goal was about winning your True Self, and the prize was joy, unconditional love, peace, and freedom. Material prizes were such a piddling little nothing compared to the real prizes. The results of the game were mostly ignored.
When We Need to Lose
Often after letting go of our judgments, worries, and fears for a long time, we lose all desire to compete in the illusory world. Some of us become anti-social or reclusive (I certainly did). But when I really looked at my reclusive behavior and the why behind it, I realized that I didn’t want anyone to lose. I so wanted win-win that win-lose seemed repulsive. I didn’t realize that sometimes losing pushes us to at least change our direction, ideally losing causes us to let go of the beliefs that caused us to lose.
Today winning is often associated with willpower, being against the opponent, and hard work. Losing is associated with failure. That is 180 degrees from the truth. Sadly, many win the big prizes and lose themselves.
What everyone really wants is winning without losing, joy without sadness, freedom without imprisonment, and peace without war or tolerance. We can have those things, but we must find our True Self. If we look at why we want to win, we can often find the answer. Then we can work on letting go of whatever blocks the way to our True Self. When we find our True Self, we enter the world of truth and win-win; losing is no longer possible.
Here is another article on why our True Self sometimes lets us struggle.