Wednesday, July 8, 2009

#52 The Game of Love

I was talking with my sister the other day about the game of love... tennis that is. She was telling me that one day after tennis clinic, she and her partner [let's call her Serena] talked about their games. Serena reviewed her own game telling my sister how she loved her new serve, that her forehand was really strong in the second set, and how her footwork was helping her game a lot. After playing in a clinic or a match, my sister would review and lament her mistakes instead of looking at all the good and right things she did. When she told this to Serena, Serena said that when she makes an error, she knows exactly what she's done wrong, tries to work on it right away, and doesn't dwell on it. Rather, she tries to remember what she did right so that she can do it again and again. What a concept, huh?

Why is it that we tend to hone in on all the bad and wrong things we say, do, and experience instead of the positive? To illustrate, I have somewhat thick, straight hair. No matter the weather, it is always straight. I know
people who would kill for my hair, and yet, I hate my hair because when I curl it, 2 hours later it's uncurled. An acquaintance has the most beautiful cheek bones and facial structure, yet all she can see are her big ears, and I have a friend who is very smart, yet never feels that she sounds intelligent when she speaks. It's sad that we don't recognize the positives in ourselves as easily as we see them in others. After my sister told me her tennis story, I have really been making an effort to see me and what I do, and say, and experience in a more positive way.

Talking about the game of love, seeing the positive rather than the negative in our love relationships is also really important. After being with someone for an extended period of time, we start to expect the same responses. It's like when I h
it a short cross court forehand to my husband, I know he is going to hit a low deep return to my back hand. I set myself up for this -- losing the point. I know what I did wrong and should not to repeat it. BINGO!! LIGHT BULB!!

I am that someone in the game of love. I am that someone I've bee
n involved with for an extended period of time. I am that someone who expects the same responses over and over. With all my successes, I continue to do things that set me up to fail. In dealing with my bane [food], I do this too. If I know that eating pretzels will most likely trigger a desire for something sweet, then I need to hit a backhand slice down the line instead of the cross court shot to the forehand, i.e. stay away from the pretzels. Instead of dwelling on falling off the wagon and/or bemoaning my own "bad game", I need to allow myself to see all my positives, review them and do them over and over.
We all need to be more like Serena -- see the negative, deal with it, but don't dwell on it. Then, we need to take all the positives like how long we've maintained our goal weight, or how many miles more we can now walk, run or bike or how I am finally able to hit a deep forehand down the center of the court instead of where my husband can kill the return. How about allowing ourselves to see and enjoy the positive - review what we have done that has worked - and do it again and again.

You know the saying, "It's not if you win or lose, but how you play the game"? Honestly, I don't care if I win or lose in tennis, but in the game of self-improvement, I for one, want to be a winner. Here's my strategy: to win the game use positive reinforcement; to win the set, adopt new habits when old ones don't "serve" you, and to win the match, practice unconditional self-love -- again and again.

...And if all else fails, buy a new tennis racket.


Anonymous said...

I applaud you for being able to look at your "game" objectively, and find a new strategy if the current one isn't working. Many of us don't change what we're doing very easily, and if it isn't working, we just do it harder/more.

AJG said...

This is a really good attitude to have--but so hard! I recently tried to count all the bad thoughts I have and categorize them, with the hope that that might help control the demons.
Re: Hair--we must be related! I tried to curl mine the other day and it didn't work. AT ALL!

Bobbie's Babbles said...

I've always said, just because I know something doesn't mean that I am able to do anything about it. I still try thogh. Thanks justjuliebean for giving me the kudos

Bobbie's Babbles said...

AJG, I am so going to try that...count my bad thoughts, and maybe categorize them. This should be very interesting. Did you share yours?

Anonymous said...

GR8 babble!! What rings real to me is that we expect that same old predictable response in our love relationships. BUT everyone is allowed to change and grow. Even husbands LOL. So sometimes partners need to not predict and expect. It 'serves' them best to look with a open eye. We might see that new return up the middle that we'd normally miss. I'm working on this myself.

Anonymous said...

I love it, but I noticed something in your last paragraph that may undermine your stategy and declaration. Your last paragraph begins with ...
"Here's MY strategy:" and then you went on to say "adopt new habits when old ones don't serve YOU" ... this statement, I believe, is meant to read "adopt new habits that don't serve ME" because this is your strategy ... not mine, Joe's or Susan's. What makes it interesting is that by writing "you" instead of "me", you make it clear to everyone whose reading this babble just how difficult it is to establish new habits, which are meant to improve oneself. However, by saying "you" instead of "me", you unintentially focus the responsibility of taking on this strategy away from yourself. I know it sounds like I'm nitpicking but I wouldn't have said anything if I I too haven't been making an effort at being impeccable with my word.