2018-07-18-The Consolation Prizes of Defeat
Topic: The Consolation Prizes of Defeat
Group: 11:11 Progress Group
Teacher: Thought Adjuster
… but the measure of your human force of character is your ability to resist the holding of grudges and your capacity to withstand brooding in the face of deep sorrow. Defeat is the true mirror in which you may honestly view your real self. (156:5).
Thought Adjuster: “Let us ponder the above statement made by Jesus to His disciples. It is rich and weighty. Jesus Himself was not spared disappointments and sorrows. The bigger your heart, the more moved it is by compassion and empathy and, in some way, the more vulnerable it becomes. You could say that the depth of your character is directly proportionate to the depth of your heart.
“Jesus exuded both. He did not receive them as ‘freebies’ because He was ‘special’ in the Divine Eyes. He lived as one of you — a man among men — and often voiced that the Father does not favor anyone, as He created all equal. This is the reason why Jesus knew by personal experience whereof He was speaking: His flawless character was brazenly attacked and defamed; His pure intentions and selfless actions were dragged through the mud of ill-intentioned misinterpretations; He felt the deep sorrow triggered by betrayal; He grieved over the loss of dear ones and endured many other grueling challenges.
“He too had to figure out how to proactively respond to them in order to not fall prey to debilitating depression by wallowing in self-pity. He understood that each situation — independently of its positive or negative connotations — presented a growth opportunity. How you deal with success says a lot about yourself: Does it go to your head? Are you tripped by the pitfalls of self-admiration? Or are you merely growing a healthy self-respect and generously sharing your ‘How-To-Be-Successful’ with others? Those are subtle opportunities for character beautification under pleasant case scenarios.
“On the other hand, the school of hard knocks does not treat you with kid gloves but with boxing gloves. It more blatantly challenges your strength or weakness of character by laying everything on the line. Defeats activate the invisible ink of your character traits. What do they reveal? Are they able to scrub away the graffiti of your character flaws and reveal your underlying breathtaking inner fresco? Or do they behave like bullies, brutally tearing away the band-aids you hurriedly applied to the areas of your being in need of TLC or acting like the harsh detergents that remove the carefully-applied coats of makeup that kept you operating in a survival mode of denial?
“When you stare defeat in the eyes, you get a brutally honest personal revelation that may knock the wind out of you, forcing you to your knees. Yet, from this humbling perspective, you become aware of details that were previously hidden to you from the high perch of your ego.
“Dear ones, keep in mind that defeat is not terminal. Rather, view it as a reset button that clearly discloses to you the next phase of your self-beautification project. Aren’t you better off now than when you were oblivious?”