The Olympics. You’ve seen them. The races. The injuries. The wins. The losses.
The hugs. The expressed sorrows. The jubilant celebrations. The agony of defeat.
My favorite moments watching the games are when the “players” celebrate with one another….no matter their color, their race, their country, their sport. When the boundary lines are erased, and the “games” become more about one another and the thrill of being One in this great human/divine experience.
It’s easy to watch with the perspective of nation competing against nation. Of individuals winning or losing to other individuals, even on the same team. Of each person giving their personal best to beat another, to be the one on top, to be the one to go down in the records as top athlete in the world.
It’s easy to get caught up in the celebration of our nation. In the flag flying high and the anthem being sung with pride. In the number of gold medals tallied for our nation at the end of the day.
It’s so easy to see that way. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. And perhaps there is another way too.
It’s easy because this has been our story. Our lives. We watch and we can relate….though perhaps we are not athletes, we all feel the competition in life. To be better than. To rise to the top at work or in relationship or in the field of our talent. To do our best and give our best so at the end of the day we will feel good about ourselves.
And sadly it can so easy be a comparison. A ranking. Even if just internally, there presides this seemingly “normal” desire to be just a little bit better than another. And we even celebrate competition, and though we may call it “casual” or “fun”…..deep inside we feel this pre-programmed desire to excel where perhaps another hasn’t, and over eons of ages this has fed our ego and what seems most true to us.
What if we have it all backwards? What if this really isn’t what is authentically deepest within us. What if we took away all the colors and flags and just became One? What if what’s deepest in us is really the desire to all excel and arise and cross the finish line together? What if what’s deepest in us is a longing for ALL to thrive?
What if the medals faded away and all that was left was a podium with ONE anthem, shared glory and hand in hand tribute?
What I am getting at is that our personal Olympic game is really personal. Our race is about overcoming the illusions we live in about ourselves and others. Our game is to win out over comparison, judgment, separation, and ranking that manifests inside ourselves. The test of our skill is the proving ground that we may defeat our own pride and bitterness and anger and self-hatred in order to all win this great race together.
No borders, no boundaries between people, only the self-erected boundaries that say to fear and grief and heart walls: YOU SHALL NOT PASS.
All of you know how subtle jealousy can be. How subtle judgment can be. Comparison. Competition. They are like the little foxes that steal the fruit in the vineyards. We tend to shrug them off, but it’s likened to these athletes eating poorly, slacking on their training, having a losing attitude. It simply will not work for them. They won’t win, they won’t experience the glory of all their efforts.
The higher view today displays for all of us that we are created for unity, for well-being, for togetherness. We are created for teamwork and purpose and love with no borders. Our competition is present, yes, but it’s present that we might overcome the places in ourselves that keep us from seeing another with relentless eyes of love, acceptance, truth and bliss.
The glory of the Olympics is Oneness. It’s the whole world coming together to celebrate the spirit of overcoming, to celebrate the spirit of victory— that has been forged in the crucible of self-discovery. It’s about embracing our fears and darkened places and knowing that we need one another to win the gold medal of the heroic.
By the way, I have nothing against celebrating our nation…..not at all! Or about the Olympic games and the spirit of honest competition. It’s just when we make this the only moral of the story we miss the greater message for all of us, for all of life, for all of eternity.
Choosing the thrill of victory,