The beauty of losing

[Editor’s note: this is part 1 of 2 testimony shared by one of our engaged couples. This is not just about a single incident that made a significant impact in their lives, as well our our community]

The Beauty of Losing

What are winners, achievers and heroes made of? Is it their destiny or fate or was it their choice? I presume it is their choice – a personal commitment to be excellent, a self devotion towards a better self. There are many things written on how to become a success in whatever endeavor we may take; but I write today, not to give my two cents on success and how to achieve it nor talk about winners or those who we perceive to be lucky and blessed with all good things life has to offer. I am here now to talk about the exact opposite.
Before, I thought of writing about LOSERS as such a silly idea, as ridiculous and lousy as the topic is. Did you ever find a self-help book on becoming the greatest flop of all time? Or a quote or two on just being one of the common herd – insignificant and dispensable? This I accepted as true until I lost my bag – with everything in it valuable. How could I lose something I personally treasure? “I’m such a loser!”

That fateful night of April 12, 2011 – Marc and I rode a cab on our way home. It was a mere 20 minute ride, with all the traffic in Mandaluyong. Suddenly, the taxi driver asked us to alight, almost forcing us to go down a dark and gloomy alley and just meters away from our destination. “No way! We have loads of things to carry, we are your passengers, mind you, and we can report you.” All the things we can do within our power to, perhaps, reprimand, chastise and teach this guy a lesson flashed in my mind. Marc, feeling the same as I do, bursts into a heated conversation with the driver. I felt agitated, especially when the driver approached Marc to hit him behind. I stood on his way, not thinking about the full-bodied, raging mad man approaching and about to hit. I was not thinking and it was all raw adrenaline rush fueling my mind and body. Thankfully, seeing the incident, people approached us and this forced the taxi driver to drive away.

By then, we thought everything was alright, and in less than a minute after the driver left only did we realize that I left my bag inside the cab. At first Marc thought it was just a bag – nothing to worry, but I exclaimed almost crying, “Laptop was in there.” All of a sudden I was like, uh-oh…all the wedding preparation files were in the laptop and there was no backup…that was months of work!

Thank God we got the cab plate number; we rushed to the police station and reported everything in detail. They alerted all mobile police roaming in the city including traffic enforcers. But no concrete result that day. Marc took care of everything, the next day. He called the LTFRB for the details of the cab, then called the operator of the cab for the driver’s name and told everything that happened. We were not convinced that the police and operator of the cab company were really helping out, so we asked for help of all we thought in power and with the capacity to help us. Despite all these efforts, Marc and I resolved to give up all hope that the valuable things would ever be returned. We did let go.

Deep inside, I feel awful – almost crying every time someone asks me what happened. It’s not because I lost valuable things, it’s for the reason that I feel defeated as I recount the details of that harrowing night. It’s all my doing, it’s my entire fault. And this made me see the beauty of losing.

What I am saying is nothing fresh or far from the new world philosophy of paradigm-shifting, to which is described as “the way we see the world, not in a physical means or visual acuity but more of how we perceive and interpret things. I remember Stephen Covey, in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, used this idea much to point out how we can improve ourselves – or as he says “to sharpen the saw.” This is the reality of life – it offers countless vistas and standpoints and which only we can steer. Life offers us choices or contradicting paradigms. Perhaps, our most important undertaking is to discover the diverse paradigms that would help us choose the best route towards our life goals and missions. And what does losing have to do with all these and why do I say it is indeed a beautiful experience?

The beauty of losing is that we are presented, in a very stark way, the things we really should value. In my case, as I lost my bag, I highly recognize the time and effort we put into creating from scratch our wedding invitation and to which I am really forlorn to have lost something so valuable. {I know when you receive the invitation that we will soon give out, you will also empathize with us.} But, at the same time, it also gave me a new vigor to start anew, make things better and perhaps go beyond what we have done before and in record time.

Same goes with all the face of loss this world has ever known – in loss we gain, in pain we get better, in death we are reborn and live again. This is also true for all the superheroes, both fictional and non-fictional, we have come to know in our young lives – they always come to realize their potentials after some tragic moments in their respective lives. SpiderMan suffered the loss of a caring father-figure and almost loses the love of his life, The Autobots were exiled from their home planet, and the greatest story of them all is in our Gospel – God sacrificed His only Son to save mankind and in death Jesus raised us from our fall to sin. But there is a thin line that, we, as humans have to distinguish and discern. What makes us see the glass half filled, or the beauty in madness, or hope in all the misery? This is where paradigm shifting comes into play.

Now, I highly encourage everyone to accept and embrace their own and unique way of being a dud, an outcast, a down-and-outer, an underdog, a failure, a has-been. Losing has many names, comes in many faces and on different forms and circumstance. It is not there or happening to drag us further down. Nor did these things happen because God is striking you and punishing you for all the sins you have committed. It is as such because we are all given a chance to become a hero in our own right, a victor in every means we could imagine.

Yet, the art of seeing victory in such circumstance depends on how well we discover our paradigms and maneuver towards our victories. Again, becoming heroes, achievers and winners is a choice and it’s personal.



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