A friend of mine was telling me about a woman who died of heartache after her son committed suicide. He placed part of the blame on her in the note he wrote before killing himself. Sadly he was in such a poor state of mind, that he probably didn’t realize his words would destroy his mother. Even if he did do it intentionally at the time, it was not an act of good reasoning. He wrote something and reacted to life during the moment it was eating him alive. I don’t know anything about him, but I know from experience that life can feel like it’s swallowing you whole at times, especially if you are suffering in addiction or with mental illness. I don’t know if this young man was, but he certainly felt like a victim. His mother, in turn, succumbed to his victimization.
I recall a time in my life when I felt like I was dealt a hand of shitty cards, and was pissed that I was stuck with them. Instead of playing them, I threw them down and ran away from the table (a.k.a. life – myself). I had no idea at the time, how strong, sharp, courageous, or creative I was. I also had no clue about something very significant, that I understand now. I was not only the player holding this hand of cards, but I was also the dealer. Everyone sitting around that card table of life, was me in another form. Everyone at the table is playing a role and most of us are bluffing without even knowing it.
When we’re born, we immediately wake up in this plane of reality surrounded in circumstances. Some of us are lucky to be born in a loving home under a nice roof in a country that’s basically free, while others are not so lucky. Either way, it’s how you think about things that determine your experience. There are self-destructive addicts that come from a loving home in a free country, and there are brilliant people who are changing the world for the better, who have derived from poverty and abuse. It’s not the circumstances that mold the outcome of your life. It’s how you think and how you respond to your experiences that create your life. If something terrible happened to me today, and I was thrown in prison, I could either go in there as a victim and mold myself into the negativity, or I could make the best out of the situation and remain a positive influence on the other women.
We always have a choice in life. It’s not just a hand of cards that we are dealt. It’s knowing that the hand is an opportunity to be strategic and willing to play the game. Any of us can fold at any given time. Most of us carry on and hope for the best, but what if you knew something that other people don’t know about the game? What if you realize that you are the one dealing the cards, and you understand that this whole experience is all a bluff? What if you wake up one day with the same shitty hand of cards and you pay more attention to your anger about the cards, than dwelling on the cards themselves? What if you look at the cards you are dealt, along with the smirks on the faces of the other players, and you suddenly know your agony? What happens then? You wake up. You realize the game is a farce. It’s a set up. It’s set up to piss you off, to make you feel like a victim, to break you down, and to finally turn you inward. It’s here to make you figure out something beyond the game. There are hints along the way, but we get so caught up in the game that we completely lose ourselves. We forget what we are constantly dealing with, which has nothing to do with other players, or the cards (the circumstances). These are all merely reflections of something greater. When you get this, you can either continue playing the game with a smile on your face, knowing it’s all a bluff, or you can stand up at the table (life), take a bow for your performance in the game, and move on with the understanding that you can now create whatever it is you want from here on out. You aren’t stuck at that table. You have a choice to move along to new experiences, but first you must recognize yourself in every aspect of each experience you are having, and in each person you meet. Then an only then will you understand that you have never been a victim of a bad hand of cards. You were simply the dealer disguising yourself as a frustrated player, in order to wake up and realize that you are truly the dealer.
I know a lot of people that succumb to an idea that life is filled with adversity in order to remind us that there is a god, and that we can count on him. That’s part of it. It’s always good to know that there is a bigger picture, but it’s better to know that you have a responsibility while you are here. If you throw your hands to God and decide to suffer because you think it’s “His will,” then you aren’t fully getting it. The idea is to overcome your suffering by understanding that this whole gig is a set up to discover your freedom. The suffering is like a bad hand of cards. When you notice your suffering, rather than the bad hand of cards, then you are getting somewhere. That somewhere is the place that you came here to discover. It feels like home, because it is.
There is nothing outside of yourself that is more brilliant or better off than what you’ve brought to the table. No one else’s hand of cards are better than yours. It only appears that way so that your frustration emanates something very clear. When you realize what you’ve brought to the table, you understand that the cards were merely a tool along your journey of self-discovery, and you’ll get up and thank all those players in your life who were bluffing to show you the way to yourself. Most people remain caught up in the game. Let them be. Now that you know, you are set free.