Is it easier to be silent then to talk? Better to observe than participate? The longer I live and the longer I continue to remain with the pain I do in this body, waiting with hope and faith of a brighter day felt within, I seem to be going in the exact opposite direction of who I once was, that being a person who always had to be the center of attention. But maybe that’s a good thing, because I see now how it’s helping me to see things I wouldn’t see before, when I was constantly running my mouth.
About a week ago, I was at a friend’s house having fun doing a game night, something in my past I would make sure to be the center of attention during it, for the entire time. Other than guiding everyone in playing the game I brought over (Catch Phrase) though, I listened more than talked and noticed many things I wouldn’t in my past. Sometimes it was the frustration of those losing. Sometimes it was the gloating of those winning. But the one thing I seemed to notice the most was one person there who appeared to get more and more down with each passing game, especially because they were constantly on a losing team.
I would never have noticed something like this before at a party or any sort of get-together, particularly a game night. I tended to be so competitive, especially when playing games like Catch Phrase. So competitive, that I’d gleefully rub in other people’s faces when they weren’t doing well. But sitting in pain more than not, no matter where I am these days, has led me to be more silent and observing like I was that night when I noticed how this one individual was feeling. Their face looked more down than up, more despondent than cheerful and after three entire games of seeing this person’s frustration grow in their losses, I agreed to play one more game, but only if I could this person’s teammate in the game. My goal was to somehow help them cheer up during it.
Before the game started, I went into the bathroom, and asked God to help us win this game, not for me, but for this person, who I felt needed a win, if for any reason, in the hopes it might help them feel slightly better. I’m happy to report that we didn’t just win, we won with conviction, and I got to share a wonderful fist bump and smile from a person I barely know, but someone I feel had their soul connect to mine knowing I understood how they felt.
It’s those moments that I never got to see in my past when I would always try to be the center of attention at events like that. I think those moments have come more and more in my life the more I’ve been slowed down through all this mental and physical pain. Because in my being slowed down, I’ve found I see the world around me with a totally different set of eyes, ones that have more compassion. Ones that have more understanding. And ones that just somehow know when a person might need a helping hand of sorts. I’m thankful for the good my pain has led to on nights like that, when it helped me help another of God’s children, even if it was for a brief moment, a moment that never would have come in my self-absorbed center of attention past…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson