Guest post: Game over

I’m sharing this post from my friend Art, who I met on the Insight Timer meditation app. It’s a wonderful and inspirational description of moving from fear into Love. If you want to hear more from him, you can find him in the group Be Here Now.

For most of my life, I had viewed my life as a game of chess in so far as constantly having to think two moves ahead to prevent checkmate. Always that risk of checkmate, doomsday, all going to shit instantly if I didn’t make the optimal move. Very anxiety ridden existence I had.

Oh, did I forget about the game clock? Yep, that too was also present. Better move quickly or the game was forfeited. Lose once again.

For the life of me, I could never predict the opponent’s moves, not even the first move. My opponent didn’t even take turns, and followed no rules. The actual game of chess, despite containing endless variations of combinations of moves, has very specific well-defined rules as to the directionality and distance of each piece’s movements. But there were no rules in the game that I was playing. My opponent’s queen could have just as easily instantly transformed itself into a fire breathing dragon.

And I always felt like a scared chess novice playing against a ruthless grandmaster who knew all my weaknesses and skillfully took advantage of each and every one.

I am grateful that I have made great strides in shifting my paradigm of life. For one, there is no opponent that I am up against. No enemy trying to destroy me, looking to find the weak link in my chain and exploit it to victory for them and a potential humiliating defeat for me. My daily life is not do or die. Although panic sometimes still sets in, it is not as strong and is typically of far shorter duration.

Rather than facing a far more skilled opponent, I am instead only facing challenging situations of varying degrees of intensity. There is never a true risk of psychological checkmate. On the few occasions that it feels like this, before not very long, I recognize that this feeling is a delusion brought to my awareness by the fearful part of my ego, which is not based in truth.

The threat to my existence is gone. The game clock is gone. I do not need to react. I have time to choose how to respond. And frequently the outcome of taking my sweet time to ponder my response is to not respond at all. Who would have ever thought that was not only an option but frequently the very best option that I could take.

To go back to the chess game analogy, it would be like being under the delusion of being at the risk of checkmate and responding by making no move, patiently waiting, and then watching my opponent’s chess pieces slowly move back one by one, square by square to their starting chess board positions, in acknowledgement that they had lost their power over me. Heck there was no one they were even playing against. I had disengaged.

Photo by Christian Holzinger on Unsplash

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