I was raised to believe that everything is a game. You’re either winning, or you’re losing. There was nothing wrong with the philosophy in itself—my parents wanted us to do our best.
The problem is that I am a natural born meateater. I have a hard time turning it off. So I suck at losing. Or being wrong, which in my head for so long was the same thing.
Because I don’t like being wrong, or losing, I made sure that I knew what I was talking about. Shea will tell you that I am not often wrong. And that he owes me $110 million for all the times he’s said “I bet you a million dollars I’m right” and lost. Even Gabriel is in to me for about $30 million.
Lately I have really been thinking about this need to win. I read some books by a man who says—among other brilliant things—that our cultural obsession with winning in this country traps us in a very basic existence. Specifically, that we can never be the Christians Christ calls us to be if we are constantly ordering ourselves as above or below everyone in our lives.
We only need to orient ourselves in terms of one thing, really. Our relationship with God.
In percolating on this, I realized I need a whole new perspective. I had no idea how many times in a day I order myself in the hierarchy. I do it so naturally, it’s almost unconscious. Just yesterday, I had this conversation in my head: “I’m wearing yoga pants to pick up the kids. Again. I wore yoga pants to pick up the kids Tuesday. If I wear them today, what will the other moms think? But so-and-so wears yoga pants every day, and the same ones, I’m pretty sure. I’m not as bad as that.”
And do you know as I was typing that, I thought in my head “Well, at least I just thought it. So-and-So would have said it out loud to everyone and asked if that made her a bad mom. I’m not like that.”
Natural born meateater. It’s going to take a minute to replace the motherboard.
My goal this month is to let it ride. To shake it off. To be quiet and watch. To not need to be the one who knows or does or handles it. To not keep score. To not always try to hold the high ground, where I just find myself alone and under siege anyway. To let Shea win some of his money back.
I am going to try out the idea that I don’t have to have a say. I don’t have to have a point of view. I don’t have to have an explanation or an answer. I don’t have to take every person’s idea in and sort it immediately into a pile of “brilliant”, “stupid”, “ridiculous”, “intriguing” or “foolish”. I can just let it be, since it usually has nothing to do with me, and trust that God is doing His work.
Folks who know me really well know that I will need a lot of support to make this happen. A lot of prayerful support. Maybe even a miracle. I’d be grateful if you could remember me in your thoughts.
I’ll let you know how it goes.