You may have heard that Serena Williams lost at the U.S. Open finals due to a game penalty point related to behavior. It’s a sad note that points to the need for personal skill that exceeds technical skill.
I am not saying the tennis official was right or Serena is right. I’m pointing to the need for increased personal skill. Actually, if you are going to be consistently successful, it takes a depth beyond personal skill. Very few adults have amassed enough insight, awareness; understanding and personal strength—tied to essence, that amounts to a Presence that can once and for all, finally surmount all life’s challenges.
Serena says the sport of tennis is sexist. I don’t disagree. I would say life is full of injustice, unfairness and bias. Grasp that it doesn’t matter who you are, you will be challenged by life. Fred Rogers, the worlds’ best neighbor was criticized, questioned and accused of having ulterior motives. Presidents can do things that you would be sentenced for. It just is.
Serena’s mistake was she couldn’t let go. The situation controlled her rather than the other way around. It is of utmost importance that you recognize that it is part of the human condition to accuse, judge, label, be critical, condemn and dismiss. It doesn’t matter who you are. When you recognize and understand this, you stop taking things personal; you can easily let go because you recognize it’s not about you.
It’s about your accusers “humanness.” They’re all doing it!
The Way Upward
Take the high road and don’t follow mass culture or societal norms. Look at everyone with the eyes of an advocate. I am not saying you have to love everyone. I am asking you to tolerate the challenging people and don’t look at them with condemnation and accusing eyes.
Presence on the outside looks like poise, self-control, self-possession. From the inside Presence looks or feels like understanding, pardon, forgiveness, patience and space.
The three hardest things for any human to do are based on Presence not technical skill.
- Returning love for hate
- Including those who are excluded
- Admitting that you are wrong
If you just begin to generally embrace this approach, I promise you upward movement, escalation in all of your relationships and wisdom with age. You will travel lightly with less baggage. Life will get better each day.
Life should improve as you grow older but it’s not automatic. You make it so.