Have you ever been stuck behind a car in traffic that is going ridiculously slow and you’re not sure why they don’t just get over and stop slowing you down. Ugh! Gets my blood pumping. I mean there are signs every few miles on the freeway that specifically say, “SLOWER TRAFFIC TO THE RIGHT.” So not only can you not drive, you’re illiterate too! Geez!!!
And as I was moving to pass this slow person in front of me to give them that, “I hate you” look I noticed that the slow down they were making was not their fault, but coming from the car in front of them.
Immediately I got drawn into one of those, “Amanda, you’re the worst,” moments saying how much of a brat I am for thinking poorly about this driver (you can obviously tell it was one of my shining star Christian moments). And before God smote me, I apologized profusely to the car I had previously been yelling at (of course only to myself and in my head since we’re driving and he couldn’t hear the internal battle).
But it made me think a lot about how I have gotten angry at a situation (my being slowed down in traffic) and taken it out on a person either verbally or in this instance, in my mind (the car in front of me) when the two are not even related.
So while I’m sorry that I got mad, I’m not sorry because the crazy thing is that after I got into my non-altercation altercation I was a more gracious driver.
The whole situation taught me a few things that I think are valuable to my making headway in Masterpiece living.
- Getting to be honest about the situation.
So often we are told only to see the bright side of things, to focus on the good and not given the opportunity to call out a situation for what it is. Truth be told I don’t always appreciate being behind slow drivers (as you read above) and I get the ability to say, “Yes, this sucks,” because it does. Granted how I act as a result of the situation is a different matter entirely and as I’ve said in previous posts we get the opportunity to work on that as well. But our ability to call out a situation for what it is also allows us to deal with it and our feeling towards it appropriately. So if a situation makes you mad, you’re allowed to feel anger and then deal with the feelings of anger. If a situation makes you sad, you’re allowed to cry, feel sorrow and grieve or mourn what is happening. Call things out for what they are, it helps in moving through it faster.
- Realizing that making mistakes benefits us by keeping us humble.
I thought the car in front of me was holding me up and in finding out where the root of the slow down was coming from, meaning not from where I thought, gave me the grand opportunity to prove I was wrong. This may be super hard to believe but we are not right all the time. What?!?! Say it isn’t so!!! But my being able to admit it was probably more than half the battle. The other part was licking my wounds and readjusting my driving as a result. But admitting we are wrong or saying sorry sometimes feels like death itself. In the long run though, it keeps us from thinking that we poop perfection.
Total side note: I don’t feel like we give enough credit to those who admit their mistakes. It takes guts to say sorry, I’m wrong, you were right, or to correct anything we may have said. Kudos to those trying to implement this more in their day-to-day…you’re a trooper for both owning up but also giving credit to those who do their part in correction.
- A perspective change gives us broader understanding and maybe even empathy.
Are we fighting against what’s in front of us, or something else entirely? From my position I couldn’t see where the hang up on progress was, but when I moved into a different lane, I got the bigger picture of what was going on. If a situation frustrates you to no end, maybe you just need to take the step to change lanes. Just because we would move for someone faster coming up behind us, doesn’t mean that all people are like that. We can’t expect others to share our driving habits (even if it’s well-known road etiquette…and the law). But really, sometimes a perspective change gives us a better idea of where the issue is stemming from and how best to work around it. Plus, not much gets accomplished when we moan and groan, throw an internal fit or cuss out the car in front of us if traffic isn’t flowing to our satisfaction.
I could have done all kinds of rude things to show my displeasure for the slow down on my journey, but I was grateful that it happened. I was able to readjust my driving behavior based on the incident and I think I was better for it. I moved over for others, I didn’t feel like I had to be in a rush, and I felt super humbled by the situation because the car in front of me was simply giving the other driver space to drive the way they were. Giving him space. I need that sometimes too. Space to just stay in my lane without being forced to speed up or slow down.
My encouragement for each one of us this week is that when we encounter frustrations in our progressing forward we would be honest with ourselves about the situation, seek new perspective, and adjust accordingly in the manner and motive of how we progress. The whole hope being that we will be made more into our true, authentic selves as a result of the situation we move through.
Until next time…Live as a Masterpiece!