Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When You Don't Want to Play Anymore

I have often heard life referred to as a game. The Game of Life. If that is the case then it may very well be a game that is unwinnable. That makes it a not-very-fun one. I personally prefer games of at least limited skill, strategy, or humor where I know I stand a chance of winning. I don't enjoy playing games that require skills I don't have or games of chance or games I can't win. (It's why I never play roulette. Or volleyball. And I only like to play Scrabble with people who have a more limited vocabulary than I do.) I also don't enjoy games where the rules are constantly changing. Another absolute in this game of life. Which is why there are many moments when I don't want to play anymore. And I know I'm not the only one. My beautiful oldest daughter, for one, has had more than enough of those moments lately. Particularly over this last year of official "adulthood." It is not always fun, this game. It is almost always painful, in some way or another. And it is full of vast and heartbreaking disappointments. But lest you think that I am an incorrigible (worth up to 51 points if you can get it on a Triple Word Score square) pessimist, I do think it is possible to deal with the days (and weeks) when you don't want to play anymore. 

So to my daughter, and all of the rest of us, here are some reasons why it is possible to keep playing. And reasons why you should.

#1. Because You Can
You don't always feel like you can. Believe me, I know. But you can. You hold within yourself the innate capabilities to survive, and even thrive, in the face of adversity. I don't know all the whys and the wherefores, but I have survived enough trials and missteps and heartaches to know that you can keep playing. Long after you want to. 
Despite what they (and Kelly Clarkson) say, I'm not completely convinced that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Sometimes it does. And sometimes it doesn't. But it does change you. Always. And it helps you to know that the next time something comes along, you can get through that, too. Because you've done it before. And that knowledge can give you strength.

#2. Because You Are Not Alone
It is not always reassuring to know that other people are suffering. Sometimes, in fact, it makes everything seem a little bit worse. But take comfort in the fact that life is hard for everyone. It isn't just you. And sometimes the sheer difficulty of it is what forces you to rely on other people. You need them. Being dependent on others won't come easy, but it will bring you more happiness and relief than you can imagine. You weren't meant to do it alone. And for those moments when there seems to be no one around to offer solace, or aid, or a listening ear, turn to the One who created you. He knows you. He loves you. And He has promised to not leave you comfortless.

#3. Because It's Worth It
It doesn't always seem worth it. Believe me, I know that too. And sometimes the good does not seem to outweigh the bad. Sometimes the bad will threaten to overpower you completely. But those moments of good? They are beautiful. And they are incredible. The moments when you accomplish something you never thought you could. The moments when you feel loved and valued and cherished. The moments when the sun breaks through the dark and incessant clouds just for a moment and completely takes your breath away. They are incredible. And they somehow have to power to make everything worthwhile. 

So play on. Even when you want to quit. Even when you think you cannot possibly make another move. Even when you know your heart will surely break. 
You can do it. You are not alone. And the game is difficult. But I promise it IS worth it. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully, beautifully put. Sometimes it's full of raging garbage, this life. (That's my substitute for another word, ifyacatchmydrift.) But it's also making us into something that we will be so happy and pleased and proud that we have become; one struggle, one mess, one beautiful reprieve at a time.