A few years ago I consulted an astrologer friend. He said “you identified with loosing and you somehow decided you would gain by loosing”. The context was my childhood and his words helped me see how I used my biological family to reinforce my ego beliefs.
Most people can identify with winning in some aspects of their lives and loosing in others. I decided to lose the competition for my parents affection and let one of my siblings win. I decided to win at school and achieve in many other ways outside the family. I decided to lose with money.
When I looked at sibling rivalry I saw that the problem was not deciding whether to be a winner or looser, but the problem was the whole idea of competition. Imagine the guilt of winning the battle! Imagine doing things to win parental affection and attention at the expense of a sibling! It is equal to the guilt experienced by losing and letting a sibling win. If I loose and you are the winner, that means I suffer at the hands of your success and my parent’s lack of fairness. I feel guilty making others the cause of my loss.
What is the purpose of wining and loosing from the perspective of the ego? As usual the ego’s purpose involves guilt, either covering it over or getting rid of it by giving it to others.
Winning means I try to cover over my inner guilt with external success. Of course this never works and instead of looking at the real problem we attempt to get more and more of something external. There is never enough of anything external to ease internal guilt and that is why for example if we decide to use wealth to become happy, the amount of money we accumulate is never enough – more is always needed. The ego attempts to tell us that success and winning mean that we are the better than others and therefore not guilty.
Loosing wins because I believe I am afraid of Gods punishment, and if he comes looking for the wrongdoers he will be less likely to accuse me because I am a looser. I will say “look what others did to me – they are the ones who betrayed you”. Others are guilty and I am innocent. Losers think that a lifetime of sacrifice and pain is worthwhile because they will be rewarded for their trials and the successful will be punished.
I had to realize that the cost of holding on to winning and loosing was not just that neither option did not work but that I was missing out on experiencing my true identity: my innocence that is shared with everyone. Were was the experiencing of peace and security based on an inner identity that could never be threatened?
Playing small is a way of loosing and making others responsible. I know I played small as a child so that I would not outshine others. It served my ego to lose by playing small so that I could unconsciously blame others for keeping me down. The ego wins living in the shadow of others even though the consequences are resentment, low self-esteem, feeling unworthy, or just feeling miserable and trapped. The ego does not have our best interests at heart, it wants us to lose our True Identify by choosing to be without love
The ego always speaks first. It is capricious and does not mean its maker well. You made the ego without love, and so it does not love you. You could not remain within the Kingdom without love, and since the Kingdom is love, you believe that you are without it. This enables the ego to regard itself as separate and outside its maker, thus speaking for the part of your mind that believes you are separate and outside the Mind of God. T-6.IV.1:2-3 & 2:3-5
I was shocked when I realized the arrogance of playing little so that I don’t outshine others! Playing little means I believe I am so powerful compared to others that I have to keep myself down, so that they are not overwhelmed with my light! What an arrogant way to make myself better than others. What seems like humility is nothing but a vicious attack! Making differences real means that I can justify blaming you, because after all you are separate from me, and do not have my best interests at heart.
Children have fully developed egos and come into the world listening to their separate minds. It is no wonder we have so many forgiveness issues with out parents and siblings. We continue to turn to our wrong mind as adults, and the pain continues, until it is too much. Only when we are tired of paying the price that the our ego mind requires of us, we are ready to consider True Happiness. When we are tired of playing little, we are ready to consider choosing Greatness. True Greatness is never at the expense of anyone else but reminds everyone of who they truly are. Once we realize that everyone looses by our loosing, then we are motivated to choose what is in the best interests of everyone: to experience True Happiness and Joy instead of playing the painful childish games of the ego.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Willliamson, Return to Love