Photo by Jamie Nix
To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a card player – I dabble, but don’t gamble. Nonetheless, there is still a major “take away” from how we play the cards we are dealt, whether or not we are experts.
Oftentimes we hear certain lines repeated over, and over, and over… These lines may frequently be “disguised excuses” – lines of self-pity, as we may interpret them…
[And just as a side note to that, we humans are impressively skilled at pointing to one another and identifying what we consider to be character flaws; and we do this without taking into account all the important elements that contribute to why a person may feel or act the way they do. I am certainly guilty; though, not proud to admit that. But, that is all I will say about that…]
In an honest game of cards, we wouldn’t know what cards the other players are holding; as is the case in life. We do not know what any other person has been dealt to play with or handle, and we should not assume that anyone may know the conditions we hold in our hands either.
Now, in any game, there are many types of players and many different strategies that can be employed in hopes to win; or at least not lose. There are some ruthless, highly competitive players – we can all probably point these individuals out easily – and there are some players who may just play for the social aspect of the game, and are not necessarily concerned about winning or losing. There are also players that, though winning would be a grande feeling of accomplishment, would rather lose for the happiness of the other participant(s). I, most often, am that such player in a card game. [And I’m not alluding to this last group as being the most noble. No, that is not what I am saying.]
Regardless of the “type” of player we may be, the essential purpose of the game is to play and try to stay in it as long as possible. And in order to do so, successfully, we must play our cards carefully and purposefully, so that we can participate for as long as we are able; given our card-dependent circumstances. Each card we play then impacts and influences the actions of the following player(s), which then circles back to you as more of a changed game than you had hoped. This change is of course expected in games; for which strategy is crucial, but so is luck in the whole scheme of things. So, as in a game of cards, life is our game of circumstances; one in which we must be strategic and self-protecting. I’ll repeat that…self-protecting.
Every decision we make is developed from either a previously learned experience or a present situation in which we find ourselves in need… Like a card game, we decide each and every time we play a card and accept the fact that not everyone is going to be happy with our play (or our decision). In fact, that is rare. Happiness may be perceived to be felt by (and from) all participants, but I think, more often than we care to admit, that one party is not truly happy or content – they are just mostly content in knowing (or hoping) that every other member is happy. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this either. In fact, I believe we should wish happiness for others; however, I also believe that this…movement (or self-sacrifice) can also be endangering, toxic, and a perfect environment to cultivate game (life) anxiety. I also believe that we must be careful with intention and not go out of our way to impale the other player(s); but, this belief may, in part, stem from my inherent need for every other person to be happy with my decision. Essentially, we are all dealt different cards in this life and we have the freedom to play them as we so choose. In saying this, we also must be sure to play them more wisely than not; for that “self-protection” goal, you see. In the end, the game is supposed to be fun; and life is supposed to be a happy one – that is at least what I hope.
Being dealt this (my) MS card – and the additional ones associated with its treatment – I do “play” it when making decisions. However, I do try not to “overplay” it; but, oftentimes, it is the only card I can play – or should play – because my MS keeps playing me; it is always there and it is my reality. I have not ever “had” MS before, so I do not know the “best” way to go about playing my life with this card. I do know, though, that my MS is more and more a part of me with each new day, and has become my strategy – or at least an essential component. So, I move to protect it – to protect me – so that I may participate; for my life, my happiness, and my sanity.
I am showing you my cards; please don’t be burdened by my playing of them.