Ever been that kid that kicked or headed the ball into their own net? Have you ever seen the look of defeat on your team-mates faces?
I’ve been that kid – and I’ve been that adult – those times where you feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you – seemingly unwittingly – and innocently – while you were doing your best and giving it your all?
You lost – but not only lost – you suffered the humiliation of self-defeat – of harming your team or your family or your tribe – while chasing the best of intentions – while going where your heart led you.
You’re defending your net – you dive through the air – heading the ball away from your goalie – and it all goes pear-shaped… mid-air – and after you suffer the crash of your ribs against the hard earth, the agony of defeat as you lay motionless on the ground – looking up only to see the object of your affections where you never expected – resting against the net – across the goal line – the feeling is crushing.
We don’t always win. Often we lose – we lose money , we lose arguments – and we lose the game of love – much like the game of soccer – hockey – rugby – competitive ribbon-twirly-dancy-thingies… WHATEVER – regardless of whether we give it 150% or not – we have no control over what will happen. None.
You will pour your heart out – and receive nothing. Or perhaps you will say nothing to love and nurture someone and receive in spades. You can love with every part of you and alas to no end…. The more you love – sometimes the further away they go….
Our shins get kicked – our ribs get crushed – our faces get bashed in
Our hearts get trampled upon – lied to – promised that which we hinge our futures on – that which feeds our being and our souls – our precious hearts – and yet we lose it all seemingly for no reason
Yet we wake up – for days, weeks, perhaps even years after – we live – waiting for that sacred virtue to rear it’s head again… Hope – because without it there is no life. No joy – no future
Do we quit the game? Do we request to sit on the sidelines until we feel ready to re-engage in the fray? Do we retreat and heal? Are we healthy enough to dive back in and wait for the kickoff? I suppose it’s up to the individual. But if there’s hope – not in the failed and uncontrollable object of our desires… Our loves – or our “save the day” defensive plays – we can endure even the most vulgar and seemingly hopeless scenarios. We will take the pain and run with it.
Hope tells us to live – screams at us – to not give up – to put it all on the line for our dreams – for what we secretly and sacredly cherish in our hearts. Not the old lives we’ve lived – not our old comfortable selves – but our soon-to-be-discovered and wide open futures.
It’s work to pick ourselves up and kick the ball again… A lot of work… But it makes us better soccer players and better people. Really great people – usually really great soccer players too – and who wants to be “good” when we can be great
We were created to love – to live – and there is no life without love… And certainly no forward-motion without hope.
I have failed quite miserably and I have succeeded greatly – – walked tall through my successes and home-runs — and had to crawl through my shameful mishaps and trials. And I will have to do it all again repeatedly before they ship me off to the glue factory.
So what do I know?? Well, not much – but this:
I know that in all of my years eaking out a life on this big churning ball of water and mud that hope is essential to life – and love the root of it all – fear is the greatest thief – of joy – of freedom – and certainly of love. When we make choices out of fear we inevitably end up sad, lost, confused and alone… Regardless of who we give ourselves to… Maybe not initially – but eventually.
And the ball ends up not in the back of the net – but never engaged in the game at all. That’s the lamest soccer game of all…
And Win again…. Eventually – someday
Just get in the game
And hope…. Never give up hope – because without it there is no life. Hope feeds the soul. And the soul is you. All of you. You are a song – and your music is the ultimate beauty.