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I think one of the traits the protocols help you acquire is acceptance. Recently I experienced the benefits and abundance of acceptance. I was on a great tennis team. The captain was great. The players were great. I was treated very respectfully by everyone. It was the best tennis team I had ever been on as an adult.

Soon, the humanity of the humans involved intruded on my naivete. The time came to re-form our team for this year and I got a mail from the captain saying that nobody would play on our team except a few of us, not enough to make a team. At first I wanted to fight. I wanted to fix whatever was wrong. I found out that many of the women who had been on my team were a clique at the tennis club, and that I was not aware of their cliqueishness (par for the course for me). In their mean girls spirit, they decided that the captain was “bad” and they would start their own team (this is another interesting topic, authority issues, and a second interesting topic, the power of norms in groups). I really like the captain. She has always been a good friend to me and fair as a captain.

Anyway, I wanted to fix the mess, and instead I decided to accept it. I accepted that the other women on the team were acting irrationally, and that that was ok. Instead of fixing it, I simply sent the captain a letter that said “I will do whatever you do. I’m with you.” If she found a new team for us, fine. If she got enough people to make a team, fine. If she combined with another broken team, fine. If she went to another club, fine. If we didn’t get to play this year, fine.

And a beautiful thing happened. We were both offered spots on the other club team right away. We were also offered spots on a team at another club that had the following rules:

1. Food, fun, compete, in that order
2. No crazy people on our team (I had always wanted a rule like this and thought it was impossible to find such a team)
3. If you have an issue with someone on the team you talk to them directly, (no cliques, no gossip)

So, I’ve been practicing on the new team with the GREAT vision and it is really nice. And I believe that it is a gift to me for being accepting instead of resisting.


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