I heard a comment the other day that got me thinking, we people like to celebrate things, we use all kinds of excuses to get high in one form or another, New Year’s Eve being the most recent example. This is one reason sports are so popular, when “our” team wins, we get a chance to be deliriously happy without having to be too responsible for what it took to get there. And when our team loses, well, there’s always next year……
The Superbowl, that largest-of sporting event, viewership in the billions, is coming up, and many, many people will be either thrilled or slightly less than thrilled with the outcome. Even when our particular team isn’t in it, we all pick sides and root, root, root for the winner. Not choosing sides, or saying things like “I hope they have a good game, no matter who wins,” or “I don’t like sports” is considered loser talk. We in fact love the thrill ride that is sports, and we love any excuse to get together and celebrate.
I know a lot of people who do two things, one is they consider themselves “spiritual” and they don’t see why sports mean anything. These are usually people who weren’t good at sports when they were young. What they don’t realize is that they are missing an excuse to celebrate, to talk to strangers, or to wear fashionable colors.
The language of sports means that no matter where you are, or what part of the world you are in, if you know anything at all about sports, then you can talk to people. You walk into a bar, or are on a bus and there is this common language. “Did you see that game?, “No, I missed it, what happened?” I am betting that many deep and lasting friendships have begun on such a note, I know I have some that are so.
Sporting events are a good metaphor for life.
“How?” you say.
Well, think of it, there is learning to actually play, endless strnouous preparation, leading to a truly competitive event, which leads to more truly competitive events. What could be more like life, and what could be more of an exciting form of life?
We all want to win, and we all seem to hate losing, but there are few actual winners, and many, many losers. In fact, it could be said that 99.99 % of sports enthusiasts are losers. Aren’t you glad life isn’t that harsh? The microcosm of sports gives us something Joseph Campbell pointed out long ago, “The feeling of being alive,” which is an intensity we don’t usually get in our day-to-day.
As people who are becoming more human all the time, we like to intensify our lives, we like it when things are difficult and we men especially, like to burst through obstructions into the freedom of the open field, the clear lane, the victory lap. And when we are not winning ourselves, well, somebody is, and if its somebody we love to hate, well, even better!
In losing, we love to commisserate. Yet another chance to celebrate. And to talk it over with anyone we meet. You may be standing in line and you can say “Blankin” Cowboys” and somebody will say, “Damn right!” Then you can dive into the reasons the Cowboys are cheaters or somehow don’t deserve to win, or if you are in Dallas and they lost, how they really actually won, except the score was not really showing the right result.
So, my question to you is this: What are YOU waiting for?
Are you holding off feeling good until something happens, after which you will give yourself “permission” to feel good? Are you waiting to “feel good about yourself?” Are you putting off the celebration of your own greatness until somebody else pats you on the back, or gives you a raise, or you achieve enlightenment?
Right NOW, can you feel inside you into the place where you hold happiness prisoner? Oh, not right now, I have to work, or I have so much to do, or my boyfriend is pissed, or my Mommy doesn’t like me, or whatever the reason our little minds come up with, can you, just for this moment, feel into the Well of Happiness?
There, now isn’t that better? So, do we really need to wait till New Year’s Eve to promise ourself to do the things we think will make us “better people?” Or can we just go ahead and feel happy, and THEN go about our lives, which may include seeking out some vicarious thrill rides?
Of course, if you feel into yourself, and find that happiness seems like a cold and distant star floating in a bleak and empty void, then you probably need to contact me and do some session work to clear up those places that hold you apart from your self. Your self, you see, is natively happy, in fact it is our very nature to be happy and free, and so full of love we can’t help overflowing. We merely get into a pattern of doing unhappiness, and need teachers and gurus and workshops to remind us to do what comes naturally.
So, in this new year, or any year, in this Superbowl, or any bowl, in this celebration for every occassion, feel free to be happy, and enjoy the ride! Try some things that intensify life. This doesn’t always have to be mortgage-related, or relationship stress, or all those things we create to make our lives more of a test. Some of the intensity can be fun, and if your team loses, well, there’s always next year……