The Game of Life and How to Play It

Some of you will read this title and think I came up with it. That would be natural of you to do. But I didn’t. It’s the title of an incredible book that I have just started reading, and I honestly have become so moved by it that this post is burning inside me.

I just started the book and am only about a third of the way through it, but I’ve been reading it in every bit of “down time” I have. I’ve been compelled to even jot a few things down because they just resonated with me so much. I felt moved to write them down, so I could then share them with you.

A friend loaned her copy of the book to me, and if it were mine to keep I’d be marking all over it. Normally I listen to books on Audible, and if you don’t know about this app you should totally check it out. So finding the time to actually sit and quietly read this hasn’t been as easy as you may think as an at-home mama, but I’m reading it every chance I get. I can’t put it down.

The title of the book says enough about what’s inside but I have found it to be incredibly eye-opening and moving. The author shines bright insight into my own life and in her book, Florence Scovel Shinn reminds us that the mind gives us power.  As Proverbs says, “your thoughts run your life”. We reap what we sow. If we fill our minds (which are basically thoughts, that we can control if you really think about it) with negativity, hatred, anger, fear, disgust, comparison, resentment, etc. then we will have failures and sickness and troubled situations in our lives.

In an early chapter, she writes:

“Continual criticism produces rheumatism, as critical, inharmonious thoughts cause unnatural deposits in the blood, which settle in the joints.”

Basically, she is saying that if we walk around being nasty to one another and spend time criticizing each other and ourselves, we can literally make ourselves sick. Crazy, right?! We screw things up and throw off our own energetic alignment by choosing to think negatively, or comparing ourselves to others, or being judgmental. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all shift to a place of observation rather than dwell in a place of judgment? Notice what’s around you, but let the thought end there. Don’t be envious, or critical, or greedy, or ungrateful, or jealous, or angry, or fearful. Choose joy, and watch the universe begin to work in your favor.

We seem so quick to look for something or someone to blame for all of the junk in our lives, but the truth is, we must take 100% responsibility for our own lives. We have endless choices each day. Our feelings affect our thoughts, which affect our attitude, which affects our actions. So, if we live the majority of our days feeling that we aren’t deserving of having something, we won’t ever have it. If we feel that we aren’t worthy enough, we won’t ever get more. If we feel like we can’t do something, we won’t ever do it. We must learn to get out of our own way. Don’t step on your own big toe.

Shinn goes on to say:

“Man should watch himself hourly to detect if his motive for action is fear or faith. There is no peace or happiness for man, until he has erased all fear from the subconscious. Fear is misdirected energy and must be redirected, or transmuted into faith.”

Misdirected energy…meaning we give the directions. We tell the energy where to go. Fear and faith don’t go together.

The most incredible part of this book for me, though — is realizing that this book was written in 1925How fascinating that almost one hundred years later, so much can still be said for humanity and how much our mind plays a part in our story.

So, folks. Here comes the secret. If you never pick up or listen to this book, maybe reading isn’t your thing. Or maybe you think I’ve lost it finding so much enjoyment in a book like this (funny thing is, I actually feel like I’ve found it.) But here is the secret. Here is what Florence Scovell Shinn says is the object of the game of life:

“…to see clearly one’s good and to obliterate all mental pictures of evil. This must be done by impressing the subconscious mind with a realization of good.”

While most people see life as an ongoing battle, it is really a game. However, we must create harmony in our lives. It’s about Love. It’s about Joy. “Keep thy heart (or imagination with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

And yes, I realize this is a premature book report as I have barely finished the book. However, I couldn’t help myself. It’s too good not to share today. To think that someone out there in the universe could be one book away from opening a door within their soul that gets them back into the light again. Sometimes, we forget that our flame is always burning to show us the way.

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