A positive path for spiritual living

Winning and Losing


Our world of duality is designed for winning or losing.  Team sports are designed to hone competitive skills with the goal of winning.  Yet in each meeting there will be winners and losers.  
As football season winds down, college basketball gears up for March madness and baseball is still a wistful thought of warmth, we might reflect on the duality of winning and losing--and is there a way of oneing?  "Oneing" is Richard Rohr's word for moving beyond duality thinking.   
John Maxwell, an author and leadership coach, wrote a book titled, "Sometimes you win  Sometimes you learn."  In the children's version we find a grandfather advising, "Woggles are winners, yes, that much is true.But whether you win depends upon YOU. Winning takes effort, this much you will see. What you learn from your loss can bring victory!"  
The duality of winning and losing are simply two ways to look at a single temporary event.  Both views are illusions that usually have lessons for us if we are open to them. Staying open to the lesson seems to be the effort required for oneing.  When I think I'm winning I sometimes discover lessons in gifts and skills that I have; the blessing of humility and the feel of teamwork; and the shadow of fear that creeps in as suddenly I perceive I have more to lose now that I'm winning.   When I think I'm losing I notice my growing edges; I try to focus on ways that I have moved beyond my comfort zone and expanded my skills; and I accept that failing means I'm making myself vulnerable, which is a good thing.  How we win and how we lose might be more important than the perception of us as winners or losers.  
This week I invite you to notice when you see yourself as a winner and when you see yourself as a loser.  Then pause to seek the lessons in the effort of oneing.