As I watched the ebb and flow of the United States vs Portugal game on Sunday, I realized something, life and soccer as one. Futbol is a beautiful game. It teaches us many lessons about life. The US soccer program entered the group of death with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal. US was picked to not have a good chance of advancing to the round of 16, but as way has led to way, they play Germany Thursday with a good chance of possibly advancing.
Early on in the game the US gave up a goal, then struck back to tie it, and then the US team struck back again with a 2-1 lead entering extra play. In the final 30 seconds of overtime, Portugal struck with a header, ending the game in a tie. With the US leading 2 to 1 in the final ten minutes of the match, there was great hope resting on the US to advance and hold off Portugal. It didn’t happen that way, and what soccer and sports athletes teach us, is how willing are we to accept what just happened. The quicker you can accept it, the quicker you can move forward. But first you must accept your emotions of the event. Then get yourself moving forward. The key is in the acceptance of the emotions running through you, those emotions are yours, own them. If you don’t you will turn them into judgments, gossip, etc.. about others.
This is a wonderful lesson that this game can teach us. Yes it would have been wonderful for the US to win and move forward but that didn’t happen, who really knows why things happen, we can speculate, think about it, try to grasp it, or even dialogue about it. But the fact is it happened. Sounds like life, perhaps mine and yours. We hope it works out our way, but perhaps it doesn’t or it does. But what was beautiful about watching the soccer the match or any soccer match, is you can’t call a time out like you can in our football games or basketball games or go to the mound and talk it over, in soccer it really is all in or nothing. There is only now, and can you accept it. Can you accept that just happened? Athletes can and some can’t. But in life we are called to accept things. Yes that means accept that your partner betrayed you, or life worked out another way, or whatever. Accept it, feel it, and be with it, with no judgment. Don’t judge it as bad or good, because frankly you have no idea if it is good or bad. Life is neutral. What looks like despair one minute could be a miracle the next. What looks like lack, could be wealth in disguise. We have no idea, because we negate with our minds quite selfishly all the time and in doing so we negate the mystery of the unfolding presence happening now. Everything is an experience, life is an experience unfolding in a huge mystery. Life is love, and love is life. Play all in.