Monday, May 16, 2011

Lessons of a Backseat Driver

I am a terrible backseat driver! I have been known to push on imaginary brakes with my right foot and tilt my body in the direction the car should go. On top of all that, I can be very vocal in expressing my fear or surprise at any situation that occurs when I am not in control of the motor vehicle. I do not make my husband very happy when I am in backseat driver mode--especially since he tends to be extremely laid back when I am all about getting it done now.

The key word here is control (or the lack thereof). As humans, we have a natural tendency to want to be in the driver's seat all the time. There are times, however, when life does not turn out that way. Sometimes we need to let others be in charge of the situation because they are better qualified, or maybe it is just their turn. The fact of the matter is, we are not meant to be in control of everything. This is often extremely hard for us to accept.

I had some insight into the situation just yesterday. I was in the car with my husband, driving some miles from home to hike in a favorite spot in the woods with great trails. Communing with nature always makes me introspective, and I was anticipating the closer connection to God/Source I feel among the trees. As I rode down the highway, I began to notice the blue sky with its fluffy, white clouds. I allowed the green of the trees and the warmth of the sun to mellow me out further. Then it dawned on me: I was so focused on the scenery and in enjoying the ride that I didn't have time to complain about not being in control of the car!

In the car ride of life, it is important where you place your focus--especially at those times when you do not have total control of the situation. When your focus is on controlling what others do, friction occurs as you attempt to right their wrongs. Accidents can even result if you let things get extreme. However, when you focus on the beauty of the ride, the experience is much more pleasant, and the ride becomes that much better.

Learn to relax, sit back, shut up...and enjoy the ride.

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