When it comes to playing in this game of life, we sit excitedly at the table as the cards are dealt. We wonder, will I be a winner or will I lose? Fanning out our cards, we immediately begin to take into account the risk of the bet. How high can I raise and still come out on top, or at the least call it even? Chancing it all, we place our bets...and secretly hold our breath.
But sometimes life deals us a bad hand, we fan open the cards to find nothing and then realize this round is going to cost us something, if not everything. Do we bet, or call "check", will we fold or raise?
Today, I am paying a high price for playing at this table. I knew it was going to be an expensive gamble, I knew I might not have enough to pay out...but I took my chances.
The cards were so sweet in the beginning, I was flying with Kings and Queens, Hearts and Diamonds. The bets were rising and the pots were increasing. It was a fun game, full of hopes and dreams of winning big. One by one I discreetly placed my cards careful not to show my hand...careful not to be without an Ace.
Ahh...the Ace, a very important card. It is often by this card, if the rules are right, you will win or lose. It is by this card fortunes are made and lost. But my Aces were showing, fate saw that I was vulnerable. With each hand I played another Ace, and with each hand I was closer to loss.
When the game was over I sat there and looked around, no more Aces, no wild cards, I had nothing. Everything I loved about it had turned sour and ugly. Looking inward, I saw myself and didn't like me much. I was ragged and worn, broke and hollow. It was difficult to see that I was losing myself. Every move I made, every decision I put into motion, surround that table of cards. People I loved took a backseat to the game. It always came first. A most regretful mistake.
Not only did I take a chance with my heart, I gambled the stability of others and never once could I see it. The dealer was in control, I was more than happy to play along. Riding high and falling hard. Truth be told, I wouldn't have stopped if someone had warned me. I was having too much fun.
Looking around me now, I see the cards scattered across a green felt table of dying memories and lifeless dreams. A few pieces of change lie dusty on the floor. Where did everyone go? The dealer is gone, the other player is gone and I sit here broke and alone.
Lessons in life can take us far if we only will learn from it. If we only allow ourselves to feel something, anything but numb. As I pushed my chips forward and realized I was down to my last hand, I hoped against hope I was wrong. But passion and coincidence tells me I'm not. My gut instinct was not to trust the dealer, not trust the player, and not to trust myself. But I didn't heed my own internal warning. When you have placed your own heart into the gamble, it's hard to be open to anything less than a dreamers dream.
I am still sitting at this table, I am still hoping for a good game...but maybe I'll just wait this one out and play again when I'm ready. When I'm smart enough to step away when my chips are down..
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