By Joshua Bagby
What is a real loser? What is a loser really?
You may have heard the expression, “Sometimes when you win, you lose.” There is the flip side, too. “Sometimes when you lose, you win.”
Considering all the times that people are called losers, often with plenty of sarcasm and bluster, I’ve been wondering if being called that is such a bad thing.
If you've been called a loser or think of yourself that way, here's a worthwhile thought: What if being a loser is actually succeeding at learning a cosmic lesson?
Without insulting or degrading myself, I would have to step up to the plate and claim to be a loser.
I lost at love. People I loved, sometimes passionately and deeply, ultimately left for greener pastures. They decided that we were done or that logistical obstacles—like living in different cities or child-rearing issues—were too great for us to continue being a couple. Once someone makes the decision to leave or stop, it seems futile to me to fight it.
I lost at career. I never had what I would consider a dream job. I had some fun gigs as a freelance writer, which included experiences I still treasure, but I never had a job that filled me with passion and zeal. Despite being a published author, I did not feel exceptionally successful. The what do you do question still makes me queasy because I don’t have much to talk about at cocktail parties, which is probably one reason why I am so introverted—and I don’t like cocktail parties anyway.
I lost at things that I wanted very much in life. Bad eyesight ended my baseball career (yeah, so I was still in Little League, but I had to give up the dream.) Being born cross-eyed didn’t help matters with self-esteem. When I became an intimacy junkie in my thirties, I cringed at the phrase “eyes are the window to the soul” because my eyes weren’t the right stuff. It’s only gotten worse with aging.
I am a loser at being able to perceive spirits (no clairvoyance, no clairaudience, no clairsentience, no NDE or OBE.) Despite being intuitive and creative, I feel as if I lost out on the ability to have tangible proof of life in other dimensions than this physical one. When people talk about their astral projection trips or hearing from their deceased loved ones in a variety of intriguing ways, I feel as if I am a loser.
There’s more but you get the idea.
Coping with loss has been a big part of my life. Despair and regret have sucked up plenty of energy. But it has also led to much spiritual growth, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing.
Coping with loss forces me to focus on more important levels of being human. Society often peddles us a black-and-white, win-or-lose mentality about nearly everything. Win is good and lose is bad. (The thrill of victory versus the agony of defeat.) But only when you deal constructively with your own losses do you learn that not winning arguably teaches more than winning. And winning often follows lessons learned from having previously lost a bunch of times.
Getting everything you want might feel great in the moment of victory, but in the big picture that may span multiple lifetimes, is winning without losing worthwhile? It is often said in spirit teachings that we come to Earth School to learn about love. Part of that is to intimately know separation (i.e., losing.) Losing helps us better appreciate winning—or any of the experiences we succeed at having.
Losing is often a change agent. It forces us to veer off our habitual thinking and doing. As we look for answers or solutions to our losses, we have the opportunity to grow and change. It's not always obvious at first, but we often end up in better situations from our loss recovery. Stories abound about people who lose one job or relationship or living situation only to find a better one, often through circumstances revealed only after a major loss.
Going through loss is often not fun, and it doesn’t help when some New Ager cavalierly says what I just said: you’ll do better, just wait and see. But the more I’ve aged, the more the principle has proven truthful. What I like to do is feel the loss and absorb the pain—not deny the ouches—then look for the gifts or opportunities. I ask myself if my higher self designed that loss for some reason, what might that reason be?
Fiction authors put their characters into harm’s way all the time. This has often been designed as a way to lead characters to a prize. In so many stories, part of the creative formula is that your characters must struggle and suffer before they triumph. Characters must earn their victories.
The concept of losing often supposes that we live just one life in one world. We get what we were born with in terms of our genetics and status. The assumption is that if we don’t accomplish what we hoped for ourselves, we go down in history as losers and failures forever.
Normally people do not consider the possibility that our losses came by design. Many of us do not believe in multiple lifetimes or a higher self, so obviously these possibilities are not part of the thought process. Nevertheless, more evidence is coming out that suggests that our lives have certain scripted events that happen to help us learn important lessons.
For one, past-life readings or hypnotic regressions often suggest that someone came into this life to experience certain things, and many times, those things involved loss. In my recent book reading, a suggestion was made that many soldiers from World War I were incarnated to experience 1) their own death, 2) the death of a close friend, 3) the death of a son or daughter. All of these would normally be considered tragic losses.
However, in a bigger picture, those losses could simultaneously be successes for the soul. They were wins according to a bigger plan!
You don’t necessarily have to go woo-woo to appreciate how losses can be victories. In one period in my life, and I know this is shared by millions, I found myself hard-up for work. I was single and just had to take care of myself, yet on the other hand, going it alone can also be very scary. Just about all my meager income went to pay my mortgage. One winter I went without heat except for three extremely cold days.
I understand that I was still in the lap of luxury considering how many people are forced to live in dire poverty. It was tough for me, though, and I found myself doing without plenty of pleasures and some of what others would call necessities. Yet as humiliating as it was, it was also a time of great creativity.
The biggest gift was that I found out how much I appreciated what I did have. I was not collecting new stuff; I was enjoying what I already had. I also enjoyed receiving the generosity of a few kind souls who befriended me, showed me love, and made my life happier.
We are taught as kids to fear losing. Sometimes parents, teachers, coaches, bullies, siblings, and others attempt to degrade and humiliate us by invoking the loser concept. Due to all this social conditioning, when someone suffers a huge loss, he or she can be scarred for life. It’s like a big pile-on. Not only is there the actual loss to deal with, but then comes a dumpster full of mental rubbish added on.
It pays to have a healthy philosophy about losing to help weather the storms of any form of defeat. It’s a bit like the famous story of the salesman who convinced himself to love hearing 'no' because he knew it meant by the odds he was that much closer to hearing the next 'yes.'
Losing may never exactly be fun, but if we are here on this planet to learn things, it may be part of the curriculum—as future SoulPhone conversations might validate. Rather than just focusing on your loss, consider that it may be a big win in disguise. While some losses may be utterly devastating, looking for the gift may be one of the best ways to initiate healing and recovery.
Can you look back over your life and see where something you initially thought was a devastating loss turned out to produce a happy ending?
The material in this blog is the visionary speculation of Joshua Bagby. It has not been subjected to the rigors of scientific inquiry. The reader should not assume that the views expressed here are the official positions of the SoulPhone Foundation. Joshua Bagby is a visionary writer currently residing in Oregon. He applies afterlife research to fiction and nonfiction to envision a better life for all humanity.
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