Why I hit my husband's carDec 14, 2022
I was feeling a bit frazzled as I scrambled to get laundry going so I could get started running errands. I had to return by a certain time for afternoon plans and so I was feeling the pressure of time.
The rest of my family was working to bring wood to our house and had moved my husband’s car into the driveway. (Less-known fact about me – we heat our home with wood cut from dying/dead trees on our property. I think it keeps me grounded and stronger! And my tree-hugger self loves avoiding fossil fuels.)
Back to my story. The day before, my kids got a soccer ball stuck under my car. So, as I backed out of the garage, I first made sure the tractor wasn’t near me, then watched the front to see if the soccer ball got free. I had heard it scuff as I started backing out.
As I slowly backed out, watching for the soccer ball, I felt a big bump. Ack! I instantly knew I had hit something.
In my focus on the soccer ball, I had neglected to look behind me. In my defense, 99.9% of the time there is nothing behind me! Our driveway is wide open, but my husband’s car was sitting there at this moment.
My first reaction? Oh, I was so angry! My beautiful car had a big dent in the bumper and the panel was loose. Ack!
Everyone gathered around and in anger, I owned to what had happened. “I was trying to look for the soccer ball in front of the car and behind me at the same time, something that is quite difficult to do.” I then declared a new rule that no one can park cars behind the garages. In hindsight, a very reasonable rule but not much help at the moment.
I checked out my rear door, thankful it had not been damaged, though I had trouble feeling gratitude because I was so angry.
I then hopped in my car and started driving down the driveway. My anger was still boiling.
As soon as the car started moving I gripped the steering wheel tightly and realized I was angry at myself.
My default is to get frustrated at myself, lecture myself, think of all the things I should’ve done to prevent the situation.
But instead, I interrupted all those swirling thoughts and fiercely said to myself out loud, “I love you even though you screwed up. I love your human imperfection.”
As soon as I said these words, I felt tears come and the anger melted away. Tears of grief and compassion.
A few moments later gratitude surfaced too. This entire process took no more than two minutes max.
This was the first time in my life I was able to do this with something big.
I feel I passed this test.
You see, life throws tests at us all the time. How are you going to handle it? Are you going to blame others? Are you going to stay angry or get stuck in shame? Are you going to find compassion and love?
Myself, and the same is true for many of my clients, manage love and compassion for others without much difficulty. It’s not as hard to find compassion for others’ mistakes. But how often do you manage it for yourself?
To get started creating change in your life, treat yourself as you would a dear friend. You’ll be amazed at the differences you notice in every day moments.
Thankfully both cars hit at the corners so only bumper damage. And for now, I’m choosing to keep my bumper the way it is to remind me to love myself, especially when I screw up.
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