Playing Games

don't play games live your best life May 05, 2023
playing games


I've often heard the expression "Don't play games with me." It's an unusual expression that I understand, but don't vibe with, as it gives game-playing a bad rap.

Games are meant to be playful, not manipulative, and the intent is to bring joy, excitement, and even healthy competition to the moment.  It’s a departure from the grind, an energy shift into presence and the lightness of being. A game can serve to be a bonding, taking a group of individuals and giving them a group purpose. It’s an opportunity to focus, removing us from the cacophony of noises that pound on the daily into our senses. 


The word “playful” derives its meaning from the word “play,” meaning that we’re filled (full) with play and joy.  No stressors exist from work or financial dealings. We’re in the moment, and that moment is anxiety free.  Unless, of course, the angst is from being competitive-about-stupid-shit like I am. I treat some games like the Super Bowl, even pulling a hamstring playing Charades.  Ever tried acting out the “whole thing” of Titanic? Daddy went down with the ship, literally! 


One affirmation/confirmation I’ve heard many times is that I’m a good dad.  I would humbly agree.  Contrary to what kind of an ass I can be to adults, my four kids get a devoted and loving father 24/7. No matter what difficult circumstances are thrown this way, the centered ground of being a great parent cannot be tumbled. Fumbled, yes, tumbled, no.  The committed roots of love are too strong.  One thing my children will never grow up to work out in therapy is - “I was raised with no laughs by a boring man who never smiled.”  Ha!


Not having a dad in my life as a child reinforces the yearning to be an active, loving, and supportive father to the four Shoemaker kids. I give them all I longed for as a boy.  


One thing that stayed with me, and inspires me always to heal, is missing what the other kids had - playing with their pops.  I recall being so resentful of my neighbors, who had a large family unit, all referring to events as “my dad” this and “my dad” that.  I sarcastically called the oldest boy next door, “my dad,” acting as if he was trying to make me jealous, when indeed he was simply spelling out his activity that day.  “My dad is taking us to the Phillies game.” Grrrr.  It would send me to envy and sadness, knowing I could never utter those words. 


One Father’s Day 18 years ago, my son Justin cued up the scene from Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner’s character, Roy Kinsella, asks his ghost father, “Do you want to have a catch?” With a devilish look on his face, Justin pressed play and watched me bawl my eyes out while begging him to stop the video.  


That classic film is all based in the world of the game of baseball, with metaphoric meanings aplenty, with family love at the core.  All walks of life, varying goals, and agendas, are all brought together by a game some have never even played.  They found bliss on a field created from dreams. We can do the same in our lives, creating a personal world that’s not so dark and serious, and abundant with emotional freedom. 


My children thrive when we engage in games. Before bed, I give them choices of invented family customs we play out.  Most often they choose trivia we call, “Keyser Soze,” where my knowledge nudgers are spawned from looking around the room, like Keyser Soze made up his story in the film, The Unusual Suspects.  For instance, I spy the vertical window blinds and ask, “What blind singer sang Georgia?” 


We laugh a lot, even if it’s making fun of me for asking a dumb question.  I’ll trip on a banana peel for them.  Laughter is the greatest form of intimate unity.  


I say we humans pull away from the evil triad of fear, doubt, and worry, and jump on the train of love, light, and laughter.  If happiness is the goal, then there will be less “mind games” to worry about.  You get to create your own energetic space, and the mean folks will go away when your vibe is about fun.  


What kind of games do you play with your loved ones and friends? Share that.  It’s better than sharing a photo of your ass in a thong at a beach we’re not at! 


Oh. Gotta go. My kids have a Frisbee, waiting for their dad to play…on the sand…in front of our luxury hotel…in sunny Maui…where you’re not.  


Hahaha.  Just playing with you.  Have a fun day, wherever you’re playing your games! 


See you on the inside!

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