I was watching a CNN interview where Christine Brennan, who is a Sports Columnist for CNN and USA Today, was discussing Tiger Woods’s comebacks, and it got me thinking about how many times we all make comebacks or at least survive until the next moment and call it a comeback.
I have a problem with the notion that we can have many comebacks because as Brennan posits in the article as a question, she says, “How many comebacks can one man have?” Brennan put forth the question that has me thinking more about the Overcoming Setback Series I created, which you can view on this site by clicking the appropriate tab.
I do not have a problem with Tiger Woods’s comebacks or the man, himself, but what I do have a problem with is this notion that we keep engaging in poor decision-making and related hasty decisions, surviving the consequences, and then breathing another sigh of relief when we have felt like we have gotten through it.
It is euphoric. We still call it surviving rather than overcoming, but “we got through it.” We live in the sigh and the exhale and the movements of the mouth and flapping of the arms. We rest our heads back and let out the sounds of relief. Then we engage again in chaos just so we can experience the sigh. This sounds like addiction to me.
Although the sigh signals that we have survived the situation, how many more comebacks can one person have and still be functional? We can always come back from pain, hurt, abuse, and any other issue that has plagued our very existence, but the more time we put into engaging chaos, managing emotions, and recovering from physical ailments will have a significant impact on anything we are trying to do in our lives. Tiger Woods’s golf game is significant. He has made a great contribution to the sports profession. However, it all catches up to us in the end.
The mental energy we spent in a toxic relationship affects us later when we desire to engage a true relationship and give it more time, i.e., “give it all we got.” We don’t have both the mental and physical energy. It is the person who continues to cheat in multiple relationships, including marriage, and who then decides, “I want to live a stable life,” who subsequently struggles to maintain that argument.
You have worn your body down. You have worn your mind down. You have worn out your finances. You have suffered burnout in some area of your life and maybe resolved that issue. Then you engaged again in chaos and self-destruction, expecting to come back yet again. This means that you have developed the habit of come back and not overcoming an issue. I used the following as a quote in a previous post, and I will use it here again:
To overcome is to make no more room for that same issue that keeps pulling at your heels.Regina Y. Favors
We truly need to get out of the habit of surviving and move into overcoming areas of our lives that keep us tangled, burned out, devastated, broken down emotionally, and financially destructive. To come back is to sustain just another type of surviving or survival. We are expert at being survivors, but we are incompetent when it comes to staying out of that same trouble. We claim ignorance with a badge of honor and make it part of our identities. “I didn’t know” is not a statement that you can make perpetually because your life cannot take too many more hits.
As I contemplate Tiger Wood’s next-level comeback, i.e., the one in which he just survived another car wreck, wrecking his SUV and shattering his leg on February 23, 2021, I think about Brennan’s words and whether they have any resonance and/or relevance to our own personal decision-making. Tiger Woods notes that he thinks he can win the tournament but walking the hills is a challenge (Brennan). The multiple professional setbacks and personal scandals he has experienced, and you can research those incidents, have contributed to the physical struggle to make this next comeback.
The question remains, “How many more comebacks can this man have?”
Tiger Woods can win this tournament, and he will struggle to make the hills. If he wins, he will have the ultimate comeback. However, we should not take his struggles with setback and comeback as a guide for how we should conduct our lives. There are some setbacks from which you may never recover. Some setbacks can turn into a tragedy. Some setbacks affect you down the road. Some setbacks might inevitably force you to sit this one out. This is not the case with Tiger Woods presently, but it is a case we need to consider moving forward.
We need to stop the comebacks!
This sounds counterintuitive, but what I mean is that the learning opportunity is already there. We don’t need to keep failing at something to learn. Sure, many people have failed tests only to pass on that 10th or 16th chance and make it! But inherent in any test is the need to study or train for that test. If you are really having to fail and pass a test on the 16th round, then that means you have not given the preparation for that test priority. You assume that whatever gifts or talents you have will suffice and there is no need to do anything beyond showing up for the test. You are missing the opportunity for development.
It is the person who gets into the car drunk aware of historical incidents and statistics and clear in understanding about how one’s actions affect another. We can all sleepwalk emotionally. We all have trauma of some kind. Sometimes you do not “wake up” emotionally and psychologically and sometimes mentally until something wakes you up. But at what point are you going to truly heal?
The first ticket for a DUI or DWI wasn’t enough for the person to say, “I need to get better. I need to do better. I need to heal.” It takes multiple tickets to understand this? It takes a crash to understand this truth? It takes one or two arrests to get it? The opportunity is always present to learn. Instead, we skip, jump over learning opportunities, and breathe, yet, another sigh of relief when we make it out of that problem.
Tiger Woods got out of a marriage and didn’t heal. He experienced a car wreck, and he didn’t heal. He got into another relationship, and he didn’t heal. Now he is entering another competition not fully healed. How many more comebacks can he have until healing is no longer an opportunity?
These are questions I am considering when thinking about our addiction to comeback, which I believe is just another form of surviving. It is much more convenient for all of us to survive than to overcome because if we overcome something, we would have to let it go for good! We love having the option to pull at that thing or issue again because we call it opportunity.
But a setback is a setup for a major comeback should be challenged as an argument if we continue to rely on multiple comebacks to sustain our existence and identities.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the Regina Y. Favors website is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.