My Chiqui, you committed to playing in this soccer tournament and realized, in the midst of it, that your patched-together-team was at a decided disadvantage, the rules and conditions were quite simply against you. You, my competitive boy who loves to win, realized you may not only not even have a shot at winning the championship, you could be setting yourself up for loss upon loss. Your disappointment, your anger, and misery were evident.
I held space then for your feelings, and I honor them even now. There are unwritten rules about what you may feel and how you may express it, especially as a boy. You have learned them in spite of my wish to shelter you from them. And yet, you choose to acknowledge those feelings, to allow them to flow, in spite of the disappointment and disdain they can elicit in others. You force me to recognize my own discomfort with them, and with your choice. I honor the integrity in that choice to attend your truth regardless of what the world has to say about it.
When you were gauging how to finish the tournament, knowing winning was not in the cards and was never entirely up to you, seeing your team-mates (some of them friends, most of them strangers) breathing defeat, you questioned whether you would even really try.
I said to you then, and am writing it again now, because it is worth remembering: Play your best. Not for the championship, not for your team. Play your best for your own sake. Use that same energetic integrity you show in allowing your feelings, when you play. Because playing half-hearted does you damage, it drains your core energy and weakens you. Playing your best didn’t change your team’s standing, but choosing to be full-hearted in anything you do always strengthens your energetic alignment, it always fortifies your core energy.
I said it then, and I write it now because when you do anything full-hearted, when it’s all over, you have that inner power that enables you to find enjoyment, and good lessons, in spite of the score. Especially, it enables you to be strong from the inside, even in defeat.