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Choosing How to Lose...

A little counterintuitive. Choosing how to lose. Why would any one ever choose to lose? Well, when you know after many trials that winning is just not an option...


This is a new concept for a life long seeker of the win. I have never really allowed losing to be an option, let alone THE option. Me, the ardent overachiever. The doer. The ladder climber. Has always and forever been about the win. Or at least the gain. I have never, ever thought about how to lose. Or that I might have a choice in picking what loss I will suffer. And suffer is the right word choice there.


I didn’t win the prize in my best love relationship to date. I lost, big time. Perhaps I might not still have so much pain around it, if I could have been more honest about it and accepted that losing was inevitable. Perhaps I could have choosen my own loss earlier and then not been in such a dark place for so long.

I have grossly loss my battles and struggles with my son. Just Wednesday I was told that I am still the villain in his life. At least that is how he sees me. I am the problem, the issue and the cause. Me. The person who has loved him and shown up for him every single day of his life. Being seen as the villain when his father gets tagged with hero status is a hard reality. And incredibly painful. Yet, here we are.


Wednesday caused me to see that I am going to lose in this relationship with my son, maybe forever, but certainly right now. He doesn’t see me as anything but an irritant and a scapegoat. So I am going to lose because I don’t want to be either of those things to him. So since it appears that losing is all I have got right now, the question posed is can I choose how I want to lose?


And the answer is yes.


I wish this was where I tell you what I choose. But I can’t. Because I don’t know. I am still swimming around in the pain and the sad. I can’t really see my choices because clearly I am swimming in them. And I lack perspective. I lack a stable basis for analysis. My sponsor would tell me (in fact she did this very morning) to stop thinking. I think WAY TOO MUCH about everything. But most especially about this relationship with my son. Her instruction is to stop thinking and just feel my way through this. And that is kind of like asking me to do calculus or physics. I can’t because I really don’t know how...


So I am lost again on the frontier of myself. Wandering aimlessly through my days, feeling disconnected, lost, scared, bereft and sad. And I hate every one of those fucking feelings. And I have done a lot of damage over the years avoiding feeling them...damage that I am not willing to repeat at this point in time.


So I guess if you can choose how to lose, we might be able to also choose how to be lost too. My lost looks very unproductive, vacant and idle. I just can’t seem to get anything started or to even keep the stuff already in motion, going. It is a weird place that I have never been to before and I am super ridiculously uncomfortable. But there is hope...because I can take it to the trails this weekend and allow my lost to just become one with the trail and move forward, one footfall at a time. I can choose to be lost with no plans this weekend. I can choose to be lost without knowing what will happen next and releasing my all powerful need to control everything. I can just stop it even while I can’t.


And with regard to my son, I am choosing to lose by not contacting him. I am choosing to lose by staying away. I am choosing to lose by allowing myself to be fucking lost. I am not trying to sort it all out and package it up as “this is the right course, I fucking know it!” I have no idea what I am doing, where it will take me or him. I am just waking every day with a true and honest desire to not harm him, myself, my daughter or anyone else. That is all I know today and that is just going to have to be good enough.


Today, I choose to lose by showing up and writing, taking care of the responsibilities I can’t avoid, going to work, taking care of my kid and pets and allowing myself to feel really incredibly sad all the while. Today I lose by the minutes passing without contact, without resolution, without any hope of things ever being better...different is possible, better may not be.


Today my loss will be feeling lost. I choose to lose by allowing the feelings of loss and lost to be prevalent and apparent. I will just be in this day, with these feelings and not try to shoo them away, make them all better or even demand that they be different. Today’s path to loserville is a quiet but deep acceptance that I am doing the best I can even while I feel like shit. I can’t avoid the sad or the hurt, so I will just make some space for it and stop focusing on it so much.


Choosing how to lose involves coming to grips with the fact that winning is not always an option, and may not even be the best choice sometimes. I have always learned more by subtraction, and perhaps now I can embrace that as a strategy instead of just a default position. I didn’t end up here by accident. I am here for my own best interest and he is there for his. I just have to let that be and trust that we are both being guided by the same benevolence, even if it manifests in each of our lives quite differently. And perhaps that is the greatest loss of all: recognizing that I am not my kid’s highest authority and quietly getting out of the fucking way.




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