Yesterday, my twelve-year-olds’ basketball team won their league championship. It was quite an exciting moment for all—players, parents and me. What made it especially sweet was that the few games before we went on our playoff run, we had gotten blown out. Parents were yelling at me (that’s grist for anther post), kids were dejected and we found ourselves the underdogs come playoff time. I’ve been doing this coaching and playing sports gig for many, many years and I have lost far more than I have won and so to my players, I harped incessantly on keeping an even keel, losing more than winning, blahblahblah–Something about falling on deaf ears. And then, BAM. Champions. Lessons taught through life. We were on the hurt-end of a blowout one week and champions a few weeks later. The highs and lows of sports. And guess what, if we played again next week, I’m sure we would lose to this same team. That’s what I love about sports. The inherent marvel that failure is baseline. You lose. You strike out. You shoot an air-ball. There is no hiding behind subtleties. The game is over, you look across the
Vulnerability. We all experience the dread of coming face-to-face with our weaknesses and fears manifest. The racing heart. The light-headedness. The overwhelming need to break down and cry. Unfortunately in the West, we are often taught to push beyond our vulnerabilities as they are considered a sign of lesser character or even narcissism. Yet as is proven in physics, energy never disappears but rather alchemizes into different forms and functions. The need for a good cry, box-locked and forgotten will one day rear its ugly mug with demands compounded and physiological-the body will be forced to deal with what the mind tried to evade. And yet, God forbid you open-up and show your vulnerable side to your doctor. A doctor who was trained to look at the body and its dis-ease compartmentalized from the spiritual and emotional whereabouts of the patient. These pesky little burdens which are quickly dispatched for fear of “dirty’ing up”the clean field of diagnostic medicine. However, it is often while sitting quietly in acceptance of this vulnerability and by shining a light on our most elemental fears that the greatest strides in healing can be met.