The Downfall Of Winning

I grew up in a family that played a lot of games. Card games, board games, sports games, gambling, and a lot of the similar were the norm for us. Of course I didn’t gamble as a kid but my father did. My family loved playing a card game named Euchre. My mother was quite good at another game called Bridge. My father was incredible at the sport of Racquetball. I held my own on my original Atari game system and both my sister and I excelled in swimming.

And all of us were extremely competitive…and all of us were not at our best when we lost.

Why is it that it’s so hard to lose or come in 2nd or 3rd or 4th or even last in something one is competitive in?

I have been asking myself this a lot lately.

Last night I was playing cards with my partner’s family. Once in a while I’ll play Poker with them. I’m not a fan of gambling and don’t make it a habit of betting money on anything in my life. But occasionally, I’ll take $10 and play in a nickel, dime, and quarter family style poker night where the most that can be lost is that $10. But last night, I didn’t have much fun at all when I was playing cards. Why? I believe it’s because I was losing. Out of the six of us that played, I was next to last place.

In the type of Poker that they play, it’s dealer’s choice on what style to play and “ante” or money to start the betting with with when the deal is in front of a person. So those factors can change with each deal. A game was chosen and the initial ante was set at $1.00, which for a low stakes game seemed too high for me. I tried to bow out and just pass until the next round. I wasn’t allowed to. I was told that if I didn’t play that round I would have to sit out the rest of the night. Needless to say, the lower vibration in me came out and I started to pout. I then began to purposely over bet, under bet, and complain about everything, which led to one of the players bowing out from playing for the rest of the night. When I came home at the end of the evening I had lost $7 out of the $10 but had lost something more precious than any dollar can make up for….a sense of peace within me and a heart filled with love and light.

As I kid, I saw my mother and father fight during games. I saw my father take his cards, rip them up and throw them. I saw his parents and her parents do similar actions. I saw myself take the controllers of my games systems and throw them at the television. I could go on. I’m 40 years now and I don’t want to be a sore loser. I’m trying to get to the root of it now. It’s not just with games and competition. It’s with everything. Sure if feels great to be at the top of anything. But what happens when I’m at the top. I worry about staying at the top. I worry about it being stolen away. I worry about losing my place in life where I think I’m somebody and not a nobody.

I’m beginning to realize it’s all an illusion that I’ve induced on myself. If I had won $20 last night, would my life have been that much better? Probably not. But if I had even lost $1 and came home with $9 would I have been upset? Probably. I believe much of this, if not all of it, stems back to when I was very young.

I was alone for most of my childhood. I was the kid that was at the front of the class being picked on. I was the kid that was bullied. I was the kid no one really knew my name other than for the awful nicknames that I was labeled with. I was the kid that couldn’t even go to my parents and talk about how I really felt inside….alone.

Being competitive in anything I did and then winning made me feel important. It made me feel like I was somebody. Having a moment or two of glory made me feel like I was something special in this world when I didn’t feel special for most everything else. Unfortunately, it becomes an obsession in its own way. If I win, life is grand. If I lose, life sucks. It’s a constant roller coaster. Almost similar to how my alcohol and drug addiction was. Pretty comparable to how my life was in any sex and love addiction issues I faced. Trying to be first in everything I did heaves me into a never ending up and down battle within myself.

I wasn’t proud of my moments last night. I haven’t been that way in a long time. But as my Shaman friend informed me, it surfaced for a reason. To be a spiritual healer and helper of others in my near future, I want to be free from behaviors like that. I don’t think the answer is to not just play games anymore. I believe the answer is in knowing deep within myself that regardless of whether I win or lose, that I’m still a good person, important to God, and that everything in my life is still ok.

The last three years of my life have been such a challenge with the chronic physical pain issues I’ve faced in my cleansing process. Being limited on what I can do, it has exacerbated this competitive side of me when I’m playing a game. When I end up winning at something, I feel that maybe all my pain and limitations in my life aren’t so bad. When I end up losing, like last night, it’s as if all of my life sucks and my chronic pain is the end of the world. And last night, it felt that way.

I’d love to have a hopeful upswing, with a grandiose idea of how to work through this for anyone who may be reading this. At the moment I don’t. What I can say is that I am praying about it. I want to be ok with coming in last. I want to be ok with losing. I don’t want it to matter if I come in 2nd. And I’ve asked God to guide me there. For now that’s my solution.

As I continue to heal from past transgressions in this life and in previous lives, I am convinced the more I will feel at peace within myself. And it’s my hope that the more I feel at peace within myself, the more I will be ok no matter what place I finish in anything that I do.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson