The complex algorithm (or seemingly random happenstance) that determines the cards we are dealt in life sometimes seem terribly unfair. What formulas, for example, determine the children that will be born healthy or with birth defects? Or the ones that will be born into wealthy or poor, healthy or dysfunctional families? Which formula calculated a Parkinson's disease diagnosis at 35 for me?

As I contemplated this conundrum, I remembered something I had posted on Instagram about year ago and thought it was worth revamping and sharing on this platform. Enjoy!

Monopoly was my favorite board game as a child. I have fond memories of playing with my siblings and often catching my brothers trying to pull a fast one on the banker! One thing I dreaded (other than landing on a hotel that wasn't mine) was picking up the "GO TO JAIL" card. It just felt like the most egregious of injustices - particularly the "Do not pass GO, do not collect £200" part.

So many thoughts would flood my 11 year old brain:

IT'S NOT FAIR! The £200 is my salary! I earned it, you can't just take it from me! (GO TO JAIL)

IT'S NOT FAIR! I'm so close to collecting my £200... surely, I can pass GO on my way to jail and quickly pick up my money, right? (GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL, DO NOT PASS GO)

IT'S NOT FAIR!!! (Yea... perhaps not... still... GO TO JAIL)

Funny how now, as an adult, I still feel that way sometimes. Unfair (and sometimes inexplicable) things happen to us - we get hurt, loved ones die, spouses cheat, marriages end, life happens. "IT'S NOT FAIR!" we cry as we feel like we we've just been dealt that nasty GO TO JAIL card, except that what's at stake now is worth a whole lot more than £200 in Monopoly money.

Now, I want you to think about this - you can't stay in Monopoly jail forever; by your 3rd turn, you must roll a double, pay £50, or use a "get out of jail" card. It's one of those 3 options or you lose the game and forfeit all you've worked hard for. Similar rules apply in this game called life - we can't remain within the confinements of anxiety, bitterness, jealousy, hurt, anger, fear, denial, betrayal, self pity... and expect to win. We will lose. A time must come, dare I say the time is now, when we must make the decision to exit whatever prison we find (or have put) ourselves in. That decision could take on different forms - it could be accepting that apology you never truly received and moving on from past hurts, it could be swallowing your pride and making that phone call, speaking out loud or remaining quiet, starting a new venture or ending an old one.

You are the only one who knows for certain what that decision is.

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