This peace stuff ain’t easy.
Even though sometimes it feels that way. A friend in need recently asked if I could just put the Zen on a shelf and be pissed off with her. Yes, I can. My girls’ team said, coach, you know, you can be pissed at us sometimes. We need that.
Oh, I’ve been pissed at them.
I’ve been mad at my team not for bad results, but subpar effort. I’ve been ticked at dudes who are crap puddles to female friends of mine. I’m angry about the Rockies’ rocky start and that if Kobe Bryant farts, it gets the headline over any Denver Nuggets victory.
I’ve had to make peace a habit.
Habits are born of consistency. Like my taco habit. That began when I was 12. You don’t become a taco wrangler overnight. You wind up having to keep your cool on the road and on the sideline and at home because they girls you raise know your triggers.
Peace is hard
Peace, though. It works.
I tried it last fall season. I promised not to yell at refs through the state and conference tournaments. Not an easy task. Refs’ eyes get tired that time of year. They get grumpy. They take it out on coaches and those silly striped socks they wear.
Even when I kept cool on the sidelines, turbulence ensued.
When you’re quiet, you hear it all. The players were quiet, too, as we ran through noisy rivals to reach the championship. Our rival bellowed and complained about everything, from our dads to our tactics to the universe at large.
In the quiet we’d created, it was much easier to navigate.
In overtime and penalty kicks, we were physically exhausted. The other team emotionally spent. We’d battled them all afternoon. They fought not only us, but the refs, the dads, our tactics, their insecurities, and the universe, ultimately.
Winning is good. Winning right? Unequivocally better.
Miserable without peace
Peace isn’t an overnight thing. There’s no pill, no five-step guarantee. In fact, if it weren’t for peace, I’d be miserable. If it weren’t for meditation and mindful navigation through a series of downfalls and trials, who knows what damage I’d take on with upheaval.
Peace does not mean passiveness.
Today, we competed in a clash of titans. The bottom two teams in the conference. A 1-0 lead for us. A thunderstorm just before the half. A decision: Do we play in the second half? They didn’t want to, so we were going to go home.
Then, they changed their mind.
They wanted to take the soggy field in driving rain because they felt they could beat us. I walked back peacefully to my team. I then ripped off my tie and threw it. They want to play because they think they’ll beat you! I told the girls.
I saw fire in their eyes – but a steely calm, too.
We accepted their challenge. We trudged through the storm and put forth our best and did what we could to stem a rival from stealing one on our field. We scored, four more times. We left no doubt. In ourselves, or in who was the better side that day.
And there’s peace in a journey like that.
A to Z Challenge: