In Others’ Words: Encountering Defeat

Must not be defeated. angelou. 2014


One of these days I’m going to catalogue my quotes and tally how many posts I’ve written that deal with facing — and overcomng — defeat.

Quite a few, I’m thinking.

Sometimes when I find a quote about overcoming defeat and then I blog about it, I’m writing myself out of a funk. And then there are times I’m standing firm, walking strong and confident. But I figure someone else may need a reminder to push past whatever defeat they’re staring down.

Move on past the disappointment. The no. The emotional roadblock. The naysayer. Figure a way around, under, over, through the defeat.

I’m about to ask myself a question and you are invited to listen in:

Me: Ever experienced defeat?

Me: Oh yeah. You want an alphabetical list or a chronological list?

Me: No list needed.

Me: How about the time a book I … um, we … were passionate about got all the way to pub board and then one person — one person — said no. And that was the end of that. How about the time I tried to talk out a difficulty with a friend and she stonewalled me? How about when I did everything I could to avoid back surgery … and that became my only option to try and eradicate the pain? 

Me: That last one was a defeat and a success.

Me: Point taken.

(I’ll stop talking to myself now.)

I’m not going to continuing discussing my defeats. The point is: I’m still here. I’m still writing — and I’m published. No, not that one book I mentioned — and yes, I’m still passionate about the topic. And I’m still making and sustaining friendships. And after crying because I was backed into a virtual corner with surgery the only option for relief of my back pain … well, now I thank God surgery was an option.

In Your Words: I don’t even have to ask if you’ve faced defeats. if you’re living on planet Earth, defeat has chased you down — and caught you. The question for today is: How have you overcome it? I’d love to hear how you’ve refused to be defeated.

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  1. September 10, 2014, 12:21 am   /  Reply

    Sorry, no. I’ve never been defeated, and I do not know how to lose.

    The battles may be drawn out, but I am NEVER out of the fight. There is always one more thing I can do, one more excuse to find the victory.

    And then there’s cheating. Like Kirk, James T., I have rewritten the rules to allow me the win, because I do not believe in no-win scenarios. (Ask the folks at UC San Diego about that one.)

    And in this last of battles, when pain freezes my limbs and fear grabs for my heart, I hit back. I can still do as many pullups as the average SEAL, and I’m 53. All right, I’m spitting blood at the end of it, and drop into a rather uncomfortable semiconscious state, but who cares, as long as I win?

    And fear? What is there to fear? If it’s more pain I’m afraid of, I just inflict more upon myself so I know I can take it.

    If it’s death…well, JC beat that particular bad boy into the ground. So to speak.

    OK. I do fear one thing.

    Getting ugly with age.

    But hey…so far, so good.

    • September 10, 2014, 10:27 am   /  Reply

      I admit it, Andrew: I was waiting for your answer.
      And you said I what I thought you would.
      Good on you, my friend. Good on you!

      • September 10, 2014, 12:41 pm   /  Reply

        Thanks, Beth.

        John Dryden said it well.

        “I’m a little wounded but am not slain; I will lay me down to bleed awhile. Then I’ll rise to fight again.”

        And so did Yoda. “There is no try. There is only do, or do not.”

        And then there’s an anonymous poet –

        When Satan sends down hate like rain,
        and tries to make me scream for Mama,
        he’ll find that while he’s brought the pain
        I have brought the trauma.

        • September 10, 2014, 1:26 pm   /  Reply

          You’ve got some nice quotes there, Andrew.

          “I have brought the trauma …”

  2. September 10, 2014, 8:20 am   /  Reply

    I was stunningly defeated by a deadline earlier this year. Oh my. On deadline day I kinda broke down…in almost every way possible. Which you know. Because you called me that day and encouraged the socks off me. 🙂 Which I’m still so, so thankful for.

    I’m in the process of rewriting that story now. I’m fortified with encouragement from family and friends, the awesome story wisdom of mentors and editors, and close friends who continually cheer me on. And I’m determined not to let the looming deadline defeat me this time.

    • September 10, 2014, 10:29 am   /  Reply

      I do not think you were defeated by that deadline.
      I know you weren’t.
      You realized what needed to be done with that story — and you are doing it. Beautifully, too, I expect. Because you are that kind of writer.
      And our talk that day: a favorite memory of mine!


  3. September 10, 2014, 9:38 am   /  Reply

    Andrew, you will never be ugly, no matter what! And Melissa, you will hit your deadlines because that’s the kind of person you are.

    Me, when I encounter defeat, I remember all those scripture verses that say: And it came to pass….

    I also recognize defeat as God’s way of telling me something. Sometimes it’s just not not. Other times, it’s to make me depend on Him more. Do I feel bad when I meet defeat? You bet, but it too will pass.

    • September 10, 2014, 10:30 am   /  Reply

      Perspective changes defeat into something we can get past … yes indeed. And if we are still here and the defeat is, well, in the past … guess who is the winner?


    • September 10, 2014, 12:47 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks, Pat.

      My Pit Bulls agree with you!

  4. September 10, 2014, 9:55 am   /  Reply

    Defeat? Oh yes. I’ve faced it. When it comes, I have to choose not to let it have the final word. It may press me down for a few minutes, or a little while, but I refuse to let it pin me down permanently. Sometimes I need a perspective shift, which usually comes from journalling, the Word or/and words from friends. Ultimately, I have to take a step back and remember the truths God’s taught me so far AND believe them. Once I’ve done that, I’m unpinned and free again to move forward.

    • September 10, 2014, 1:23 pm   /  Reply

      It is all about perspective, Jeanne — and who is the voice of authority in your life.
      And I know, I know who that is for you.
      And He always wins!

  5. Susan
    September 10, 2014, 12:25 pm   /  Reply

    I think it depends on my mood on the day defeat drops into my life. Some days I’ve handle it with grace, others I’ve been a bundle of tears:) Those, obviously, are the hard ones to pick myself back up from.

    • September 10, 2014, 1:25 pm   /  Reply

      But those are just days, Susan — they are not the sum total of your life.
      You are an encourager. So many times your blog posts encourage me. (I’m on deadline still/again, so I don’t comment too often.)
      You walk your life by faith … and those bundle of tears days? There just you being real — but they are also not “the end,” you know what I mean?

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