Life is a Game of Cards! What’s Your Deal?

Life is a game of cards. One of the deals I got early in life was Charles Dickens in our family reading cupboard. Sitting shyly in a cupboard of Hindu spiritual texts in a sleepy little town in India, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations spoke to me like no one else did.

I’m grateful that I could make sense of what Oliver Twist had to say, though I admit skipping to pages of dialogue and skimming over descriptions. Grateful that I could write coherent sentences early in life thanks to a Teacher who believed in me more than what I did myself. I scored the highest marks in English despite not going through my books more than once. My siblings were suspicious how I got even passing marks!

So that’s one part of the deal of cards I got in life. An intelligence to understand literature.

Then life threw me cards of being shy, quiet arrogance and different. And a thriving imagination card. There is a card of shame. The shame of addictions like thumb sucking, smoking. And the card of guilt. The guilt from mistakes, lustful and greedy thoughts.

And as life dealt you rounds of cards after cards, there was a pattern. The pattern of being a misfit and often dysfunctional in worldly matters.

I had to learn to play this game of cards. I broadly knew I could fold up, bluff my way out or maybe wear out the other players. Or just play blind! And I was playing blind.

Understanding the rules of the game

But first of all, I needed to understand what my cards bring to the table. Playing cards where each deal comes with its own strategies and tactics.

Folding up is a common mistake where it means giving up on your hand too early, even if you have a chance of winning. Are you being fearful? This can be a good strategy if you are sure that you are going to lose, but it can also be a costly mistake if you give up on a hand that you could have won.

Sometimes you play blind or need to bluff your way out. This can be a risky strategy, but it can also be very effective if you are good at bluffing. Bluffing is pretending to have a better hand than you actually do. This can be a very effective way to win a hand, but it can also backfire if your opponent calls your bluff.

And then there is this strategy of playing slowly and deliberately, in order to tire out your opponents. This can be a good strategy if you are playing against more experienced players.

Or just wait for the next round of a deal of cards. Life is a game of cards and you get new deals all the time.

How to learn the game of cards?

To understand this game of cards, you need experts. I chose therapists and healers to be those experts.

Or were they part of the deal? A deal that comprised of proficiency in literature, shame, guilt, imagination, shyness, quiet arrogance, being dysfunctional and the therapists?

A way to understand the game was to find myself a safe house. A safe house where I could examine all my cards away from the game arena.

A place where I could see the strength of a card which I thought was a dud. For example, being shy and different was a thing I did not value. I always wanted to fit in and try to impress and please people around.

But maybe being shy and different was of great value. Coupled with imagination, it could be a winner, right!!

So I used my imagination to create a safe house. Do you know that place?

Shame and Guilt Cards

The shame and guilt cards are difficult beasts. They are the blood sucking vampires lurking around all the time. They are the death eaters who suck away the kind and funny part of you.

Folding up the cards of shame and guilt doesn’t work. They are like the Raktbeej monsters who double up when folded. Playing blind with the cards of shame and guilt is suicidal and foolhardy.

Bluffing your way out or wearing them down is the perhaps the option left to deal with shame and guilt.

Unless you’re a bluff master, your game is given away quickly. Shame and guilt are more seasoned bluff masters. They are billions year old! And you have to continuously practice being a bluff master. It doesn’t come easy.

Wearing them out is also not easy. Plus, they have a way to suck your blood even while you’re wearing them out. You don’t stand a chance.

But there’s definitely a way out, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The cards are limited. It’s a play of the divine and the devil. The Yin and Yang. Craving and aversion are two monster categories of the cards. Craving has lust, greed, expectations and fantasies in them. Aversion has anger, shame and guilt.

So one could have the strategy of keeping track of the cards that are on play in that game in play, in order to gain an advantage.

Also there’s the ability to read your opponents’ hands by their facial expressions, body language, and betting patterns.

Winning the “Life is a game of cards”

Card games can be complex and take time to learn. Don\’t get discouraged if you don\’t win right away. Don’t play blind or fold up too soon. Pay attention to what your opponents are doing, and try to figure out their strategies.

Don\’t be afraid to bluff, but it\’s important to use it sparingly. Our Gods across all religions have done so.

So finally, I’ll let you onto the secret. An open secret. You can transform the cards of shame and guilt with the secrets of alchemy. Transform them into kindness and fun.

The alchemy of shame and guilt onto being kind and funny.

Go play with your cards. Life is a game of cards. Remember to end the game only when you’re kind and funny.

Have fun! Card games are meant to be enjoyed. So relax, have fun, and don’t take it too seriously.


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