Sometimes You Win…
First Published on September 16, 2014
Managing people tends to be, at least in my experience, a lot more about working with varying, conflicting and when you are lucky, complementary personalities.
Some time ago, one of the women of the Daughters of Sheba Facebook group that I host sent me a message in which she shared her admiration of my skill to keep our group together with all of our foibles, quirks, perspectives, etc. I was humbled by her remark as it was an affirmation of my lessons and the fact that I was not doing a bad job applying the wisdom of them.
Very often in the past, I have said to my daughter that it would be great if she would learn from her grandmother’s and my own mistakes and make some new ones. Well, some days I see evidence that she heard me and is very busy taking some new life classes. Other days, I am challenged to believe that she heard a word that I said much less realised that the mistake she is about to make was long ago made by me.
Tempted as I am to protect her, my lesson now is in keeping my mouth shut. Why? Simple – “Sometimes we win; sometimes we learn.”
Last Place Is Losing, No?
Growing up most of us heard a different ending to that fabulous quote and title of a book written by Dr. John Maxwell. We were told sometimes you lose. Looking over my life, I have to say that it was wrong for adults to have told me that. They actually tried and succeeded to some extent to turn me into a coward – afraid to make mistakes, scared to take a chance.
Thankfully, that lasted only sixteen years of my life. Possibly less, as I became a true risk taker.
Now after 50 years, my journey is full of lessons learnt. Almost halfway through my time on Earth, if you believe that a century is the new average time limit, I am so excited about the new missteps that are ahead.
“I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful, I will not fall from heaven. But a mistake is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder that I am not dealing with facts. When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.” Hugh Prather
Here are three of my “big losses” and the learnings that I received.
3 Losses or Learning: You Decide
Loss #1: Parent (Mother) could not afford to keep me in High School after Grade 11 as most of my classmates did. so I had to drop out at that level and find a job.
Learning: Got a part-time job using my basic secretarial training in high school and paid my way through night classes for Business Administration courses. Upon graduation, I got a job as a junior legal secretary and volunteered at a local political party office. It was at the latter that I gained lots of experience in data entry, typing and started learning basic speech writing and communications skills. Through this connection, I obtained a full scholarship to a university in Eastern Europe.
Loss #2: Separated from the man who I thought was the love of my life, my country and all that was familiar to me. Arrived in a place where the colour of my skin placed me at a grave disadvantage and my gender and age made me even more vulnerable.
Learning: Survival skills kicked in and turned up to heights I never knew I was capable of:
- Obtained a Master’s degree
- Travelled extensively across Europe
- Became fluent in the Russian language
- Met people from all over the world and from various cultures and religious affiliations
- Political knowledge and savvy increased
- Got married and divorced for the first time, and best of all
- Had my beautiful daughter.
Loss #3: The most meaningful intimate relationship of my life ended after 16 years.
Those are just three of the seemingly big losses of my life. I could have given up or given in on all occasions, thrown pity parties – and in fact I attempted to do both, but Something stopped or halted me. These three examples held the seeds of my greatest learnings/lessons.
Profit From Your Adversity
This week’s focus has been on intimate relationships and the last example above is my best of my repertoire of loss in love and lessons in life. What I was blessed by my ex-partner with through this loss was confirmation of my will to survive and thrive. Yes, my life looks differently in many ways today – I am happier, free, more Me.
“Those who profit from adversity possess a spirit of humility and are therefore inclined to make the necessary changes needed to learn from their mistakes, failures, and losses. … When we are focused too much on ourselves, we lose perspective. Humility allows us to regain perspective and see the big picture. … Humility allows us to let go of perfection and keep trying.” John Maxwell
I certainly did “profit” from my losses in love – I grew! What about you? Did you profit from your divorce, separation and heartbreak or are you still wallowing in self-pity, blame and/or bitterness?
Wherever you are – it is okay. The first step to healing is acknowledging and that is what I invite you to do – acknowledge where you are exactly. You can do so here in the comments below or through our Facebook page. .