“To begin with it is important to establish an important proviso here: all of this is just a game”
Whether you like this idea or not, taking a moment to ponder on the concept of everything being a game, will prove to be beneficial to wellbeing, and ultimately your sense of contentment and happiness. It’s really about gaining a balanced sense of perspective.
We’re all playing our particular part in the overall game of life, and a particular, specific game as individuals. As a means of survival, the game you’re playing as an individual, has been devised over the time you’ve been alive. Your role in life is part of the game. When we ask: what is my role in life? We get to understand our purpose and direction.
And so, what is your role in life? What do you see as your purpose? Do you have a purpose? This last question is interesting, because even if you don’t see yourself as having purpose in life, this lack is also part of the game.
“Perhaps you have many roles and interests in life. You may be a mother or father yet also have interests outside of these roles. The more facets and aspects there are to your game, the more interesting your life”
Let’s take another example that’s a little more extreme. Let’s imagine you’re poor and homeless – you may want to add some colours here, perhaps there’s a sad background story, you might carry a lot of guilt and therefore have issues with drink or stronger drugs. We can ask: Why this game? Do you feel there’s no choice and you’re simply compelled to play this game? Is there an element of control, or perhaps some kind of time frame for the game to be played out? Even a homeless drunk, if it doesn’t kill him first, will eventually tire of a pointless game and so change the rules.
You see, pointless games, are played out by many of us for much of the time. It’s often the case that it has a time scale, and no matter how hard we try to step out of it – particularly one that’s self-destructive – we just seem compelled and powerless, to change it.
This is where it becomes even more useful to see all of what we do as games. It’s very empowering to see homelessness and addiction as a game; it implies some level of control. Sure there’s randomness within games (consider monopoly and the throw of dice) and yet we can choose to gain more skills within the game, and as such, play far more skillfully.
I clearly remember playing a game of monopoly some years ago; the situation seemed hopeless. I was almost broke with few properties on the board, with my opponent possessing all the money and properties, in favourable positions. Interestingly enough, after about two hours of play, I actually won!
I remember, before each role of the dice, figuring out what numbers I needed them to fall on, to stay out of trouble, and which numbers I needed to fall, in order for me to gain the advantage. To my amazement – not to mention that of my opponents – the plan worked. Every time I threw the dice, they fell to my advantage, in the end my opponent was bankrupt.
The reason I was able to turn things around, I believe, was through awareness: I planned and worked out how I needed the dice to fall. Bear in mind, this was a random game of monopoly, with the random nature of throwing dice as a deciding factor. So with this in mind, imagine how we can influence our game of life, through increased awareness. We think we’re aware right now, yet the truth is, we’re barely aware at all.
“More than anything we’re unaware of the rules of our own games. There’s no doubt, if I failed to understand the rules of monopoly, I’d have had absolutely no chance of winning”
So understanding the rules of your own game is essential. Firstly what game are you playing? A winning game (happiness and well being) or a losing (suffering) game? Secondly, how, by whom and when, were the rules of your game established? Who showed you how to play the game? Did you simply learn it through trial and error? What are you looking to win? Life or death? Most importantly, are the games you play virtuous? In other words, are you looking to make your game easier through the manipulation of others?
Manipulation of others is based on fear, so if this is one of the rules of your game – rules taught you by others – stop, because fears ultimately become self-fulfilling, ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS.
Awareness is the key. You can influence the fall of the dice with your awareness. Become aware of your game, and the role your fulfilling, and you will gain the advantage. This advantage can turn the game around to one of life full of contentment and happiness. Unhappy and homeless is an interesting game for a while, however, as soon as we see it as a game, raising our awareness, we load the dice in our favour.
If you’re suffering just raise your awareness of the game. What is the gameplay? In terms of the advantage, card or dice, what is your game looking to achieve. For example, is the homeless man, through playing his homeless card, simply looking for someone else (society) to take care of him?
We must remember: every game has some kind of end goal. Consider the true story of the Indian lady who lived on the streets as a beggar for forty years. Eventually, she’d saved enough money, to buy her own home.
What is the end goal of the game you’re playing?