Fall six times, get up seven, fail 4 times, try it again the fifth. You only lose when you quit. Winners never give up, never give in, always rise to the top despite the circumstances…. blah blah blah blah.
All of these are true quotes of inspiration, epithets of champions and victors. Triumph over circumstance. Be like them, be a strong winner, worshipped and valued, don’t be a loser, a quitter, weak and worthless……
If you add up your battles in life, if you gave it an honest assessment, our losses and quits far outnumber our victories.
First off, what is victory? Is it getting exactly what you want, when and how you want it? Is it getting a free stack of money or getting the job that earns you the money over time? Is it never getting sick or is it beating cancer? Is dominating other people at their own cost or helping people up at your own cost? Do we even know what we are striving for? Being a boss…of what? Having and getting and what do we do with what we have and got?
What is defeat? Is it quitting? Is it when we do not get exactly what we want when and how? Are we defeated when you want to marry someone of your own ethnicity but end up committing to someone outside of your preference? When you want a boy or get a girl? When your child does not like sports, does not like what you like? When you don’t get that promotion that you honestly did not deserve? When your heart is broken…did we lose? Are we defeated?
One would say it is about perspective and another would say that that is some philosophical, psychological mind trick that calls a space anything but a spade. Another would say that that is a sign to move on to the next thing but if your heart is stuck in the previous thing/person/job/hope/dream/investment and you took all precautions to ensure a quality investment of your heart, how can you truly expect to move on, unaffected or unhindered by defeat?
Society is hard on quitters. They are branded as some of the worst kind of people. Branding is a permanent marking usually placed on an “owned” person. A slave, criminal, a woman or delinquent child…property, human property. Quitters are designated as permanently being what they were in a moment but that moment reappears many times in many different ways. I’d like to think that there is more to a person than just their weaker moments.
We have all quit at something. Why? Simply because we deem that something is too hard in the moment. The picture we paint is someone quits a race, a road race, political race – quitter. Loser. Done with them. The reality of quitting is that it is hardly, if ever, just the single moment that causes someone to resign. It is the sum total of negative moments that creates the increasing mental weight that is incrementally harder to bare with the same level of strength or worse yet, when I strength is waning.
The bible says, “hope deferred makes the heart sick”. Weakness is the absence of strength, coldness is the absence of heat, hopelessness is the absence of hope. I am talking about a state of being that is more than fifty percent identified with the experience of absence. When most of your experiences in an area(s) of life are accompanied by absences in the stead of the presence of success, losing hope feels inevitable.
It is not get up one more time than you fell. It is 1x2x3x4x5 times the weight of the first fall when you fall the 6th time. Multiplication is dangerous when it comes to your emotions. It is like your gravity increases every setback, the formula and the pressure on your chest from increased weight makes it harder to pump blood, utilize your diaphragm restricts your whole breathing apparatus. This progresses to the point where one more time is one more time too many with no reason to hope that this “one more time” would be the last time and you could just stand up “one last time” and move on to the next thing. Progression is breath in your psychological “lungs.” No one can live if they don’t breathe.
As a Christian my breathing is to come in prayer and time with God. Even that is hard more often than not. How do you stay strong in a world that is cold and while living and experience that seems to be streamlined into breaking you than making you? Relief is necessary and always feels fleeting when you need it the most.
Quitters don’t want to quit, we just don’t want to feel the pain of disappointment any more. We want to experience not losing more than grabbing “victory”. Can something work out right this time? Can the effort invested produce what it’s supposed to produce? Can we live? If the answer is no or silence, then to quit is the only place of protection that people find. Keep 100%, how many times have you found yourself there?
This is NOT a final letter, or a cry for help and for sure not a suicidal ideation. I am feeling so I am writing, and I am keeping it real. When we get real, we can receive real. Last thing, no team has ever lost in the 1st quarter of a game, no matter what the score. If you are struggling, pray, get your real peoples, engage in something healthy and positive and get over the feeling as soon as possible and get back on mission. One of my favorite quotes (the underlined bold) hangs in my office by the door so I can see it when I look up.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou