Losses.

As I sit up, awakened by my own mind at five-something in the morning, I think “I thought these days were over.” Progress still. At least it’s not three or four. No matter how many positive vibes and how much good energy I conjure, everything isn’t always going to be “that.” There has to be balance. Duality. Two sides to the coin. And no matter how hard I try to escape it, manifest myself away from it, or pray my way through it – it’s always there. No matter how bad I want it – the bare bone, cold hard facts are what they are. The reality of the third-dimensional space remains. 

Michael Jordan sobs uncontrollably after winning the 1996 title over the Sonics on Father’s Day; his first title win after the death of his father. James R. Jordan, Sr. was killed in July 1993 when two men carjacked the red Lexus MJ recently purchased for him.

If you’ve been reading, you know I’ve been practicing gratitude and that I am working on being gentle with myself. I don’t feel guilty about my feelings, and I allow myself to go through it so I can grow through it. Yada. Yada. Yada. Still, despite my conscious-self knowing that I am blessed and (Lord willing) have plenty of time in front of me to do better, be better, do more, and be more – subconsciously, I still can’t help but feel like a failure at times. A fool. A loser.

We’ve all had those moments where we could just kick ourselves for things we said or did, the way we handled situations, etc. There are blunders and mishaps; there are epic fails and major Ls. Taking losses is a part of life, and I don’t think taking one here or there makes one a “loser” no more than telling one lie makes one a “liar” or stealing a bag of chips as a child should result in a lifelong label of “thief.”

However, there are some Ls that are so epic that they seem to follow us, taunt us, and take us over. You may not be liar or thief for doing either occasionally, but if you kill one person, you’re likely going to be known as a “murderer” for the long haul. Some things just sit that heavy. And when something happens that is life-altering, it can be really hard not to let it define you. What helps is understanding that some things are meant to alter your life. 

“When you lose something, don’t think of it as a loss. Accept it as a gift that gets you on the path you were meant to travel on.”

– Chetan Bhagat, The Girl In Room 105

Sometimes, God is going to say “MOVE!” Shift. Change. It may hurt but remember – while you may only be able to see up to the next corner or a few lights away, the Most High can see farther. The whole map is laid out on His table. He has the red pen out, scanning each road, highway, and cul-de-sac. And He’s going to turn you around if He sees you coming up on a dead-end. He’s going to plan a detour when a roadblock is ahead. He’s going to slow you down in a construction zone. Be aware. Be careful. Take caution.

There aren’t always clearly labeled signs, so we might not see all that. And we can’t always foresee how something we do or don’t do is going to impact our lives. That’s why they say, “hindsight is 20/20.” What’s in the rearview is always clearer because it already happened. Which is why I try not to pick ‘me’ apart for what I didn’t know, realize, or do. If it’s my first time taking a trip, I’m not always going to maneuver smoothly without missing any turns. I may have to make a U-turn, re-route or ask for directions. It’s necessary to get where I’m going. 

It’s OK to snap your fingers or clap your hands and be like “Damn it!” because you know you just screwed up royally. But put a little grin or chuckle with it. Because while that L may always be an L, somewhere down the road – near or far – you may realize that it was needed to get you where you were supposed to be going. Through the losses – keep driving.

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