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Admit Defeat

18/02/2020
Andrew Outhwaite

If I can’t do something, if I am beaten, if I lose, forget, fail, stop, miss, I must ‘admit it’.

I must allow it.

If it’s true, it’s true, and I must "confess to be true or to be the case". Etymologically, it's from Latin admittere, from ad- ‘to’ + mittere ‘send’. I must 'send' the signal to myself and others that I have been defeated. Allow the defeat to be felt.

At times, I haven’t done this. I’ve denied it. Felt waves of emotion.

Crying on the dojo floor in frustration in front of dozens of peers, crying alone in the shower being completely broken by my own inability to get some fundamentally important (though complex and esoteric) concept or practice, crying with friends in cafes as they both affirm my efforts and the observation that I don’t get it, or crying and swearing semi-alone in some distant crag at the base of a climb that I can’t get up.

All of these emotions, overwhelming, crashing waves…are in some ways ‘true’, yet also self-generated, manipulative, some distracting avoidance. Some primal urge to cry and whinge as though it’s not fair and in denial of the truth of my defeat, to manipulate myself and plead to some gods or others to make it fair, better. Or to convince myself that I should give up, I’m not up for it. All of this bullshit. Truly bullshit.

And, now, I can just admit it.

Perhaps there are still emotions, self-manipulations, crying, swearing, discomfort. Allow all of this, sure, but don’t let it deny the brute fact of defeat. Don't put or generate excessive energy about it. Put attention on the response, what to do about it.

The allowing, admitting of the truth allows it to be as it is, to be with it, and perhaps more quickly moved past.

In a way, it means the defeat is temporary, but the resolve to ‘win’, ultimately is only stronger. The win is the development of my character, or the persistent in achieving the goal.

I can’t do that climb. For now. So what can I do different the next time I try it?

I don’t get that concept. Now. But I will try again, until I get it. It matters.

I can’t do this martial movement. For now. But could. But it’s not important enough to me to put in the effort. Great. Admitted. No drop it and go do what is important.

There’s no ‘shame’ in admitting defeat. There’s NOTHING necessary emotional about admitting defeat. There’s the fact of it, then how one feels about it. Completely distinct, though inter-related. One true, one optional. All useful information, in informing one’s next action.

One, admission, more empowering of freedom.

I admit it, this is my experience. Of defeat. Of failure.

And equally, acknowledging victory. Achievement. And in a way, possibly, putting no more emotional value on either.

Just remaining curious and committed to the benefit to the mission and purpose, of every experience, whether framed as victory or defeat.

The question being does it matter, in the context of what's important? What's the response, the action, not the experience? Admit it.

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