I was recently playing scrabble with my husband, Chase. In case you don’t know this game, the object when playing is to score points by creating words. To keep it brief, in this game, you draw tiles from a bag and each tile contains a word and point value.
The main strategy is to play words that have the highest possible score based on the combination of letters.
As it was just the two of us playing, we took 8 tiles each. We had a few goes and then, I almost got a 7 letter word which had the potential of using most of the tiles I had. It was perfect! So, I really wanted to create that specific word to get lots of points and be closer to winning.
The problem was that I was missing one letter in order to create "the word", so I decided to continue to play and only use 2 tiles at a time, and when possible, the ones that were not necessary for my word. We had a few turns each, where I chose to create tiny words so that I didn’t use up my “big word” tiles, but by putting some tiles on the board, I was able to take some new letters from the bag of tiles.
My imagined potential of a perfect outcome made me lose the opportunity I had in each turn to create a new word with what I had.
Can you relate this to life?
Does it ever happen to you that you have a perfect ideal in your mind of how you want things/people/circumstances to be? and, by being so caught up in it, you dismiss or take for granted what you actually do have right in front of you?
I’m all up for being positive and putting effort to achieve desired outcomes, but this becomes a problem when this ideal in our minds prevents us from enjoying what is, what we do have and who we are (as we are.)
Just like in the game, my idea and ideal of “winning” was actually making me lose. When our eyes are only on the prize, we become blind to everything else that is available in our environment.
I could have created lots of other words in each turn, I still had 8 letters in each round to get creative but I did not. And eventually, lost.
When our “winning” is a future plan, we risk “losing” the present wins, the simple yet meaningful gems of life. Winning is only available where we find ourselves in.
I decided to write this to remind myself to remain receptive to what life is offering me and use that to the best of my ability; if life gives me 8 tiles to create something with, I’ll create as much as I am able to until I exhaust possibilities.
If life gives me a dis-ease/condition or injury , I’ll use that time to learn about myself and my health, to enjoy slowing down and nourishing foods.
If life gives me less or no work, I'll use the time to explore my forgotten joys and untapped potential.
If life gives me complex emotions that seem to be triggered by someone, I will use that to find out what in is getting triggered, so I walk towards the source of it rather than the stimulation....
It can be useful and beneficial for us all to keep our consciousness with what is arising, to create an atmosphere to be comfortable with what arises in our lives, to be comfortable with the unknown, with change; accepting reality and taking things as they are and not as I want them to be.
By doing this, we become not only more receptive, but we are equipped with an amplified sense of adaptability from which we can create wonderful things out of what life gives us so that we play the game of life to the best of our ability, embracing it all, resisting none. Not an easy task, but when put into practice, makes life much more fulfilling, easeful and meaningful. May you play the game of life with ease, curiosity and intention.
“The last of the human freedoms: to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Victor Frankl