Drop off at school. Walk the kiddos to their cubbies. Lunches packed, kisses for the day. So far, so good. Stroll outside, chatting with a good friend, and stop next to my parked car. That’s when things shift from pretty typical morning to pretty WHAT?!! I watch as the dude parked in front of me backs up and gives my car a real good bump.
He rolls forward, and I see his bright white back-up lights go on again, and realize that dude is going to back up one more time. I’m feeling the steam rising in my Lululemon. I’m ticked and prepared to give him a Jersey moment if he bumps my car a second time. Yoga doesn’t mean pushover. It means, I’m working hard on keeping it real. And real, right now, is that I’m ready to blame this guy and he deserves it. All systems ready to roll.
Then it occured to me. I could wait for him to bump my car again and use that as a moment to unload my frustration, my pent-up whatever, my anger at his carelessness. Or, I could step up.
I realize that dude could benefit from the perspective I had–literally. After all, I’m standing outside, so I can see both cars. I’m at a crossroads. I could offer help. Or I could indulge my “I can’t believe this is happening to my precious car” (sidebar: love my car unabashedly, love it).
I walk up to the passenger window and do that thing with my hands to show how much space is left, drawing palms closer to each other as our bumpers begin to line up. He listens. Then the hand signal, “stop” and dude puts on the brake. My bumper, unscathed, sighs.
Waves exchanged, he pulls away, and I recognize something.
This moment happens again and again, every day. An opportunity to get ticked and grouse versus the opportunity to assist. To help. To make peace. To connect across the divide- and in fact sow seeds of peace and cooperation instead of seeds of conflict and separation.
Do you ever notice these moments in your life? They run the gamut-some are small– like waiting for someone at the dinner party to say something obnoxious, or bigger–like when a loved one disappoints—or significantly bigger, like when you read some injustice in the paper that makes you want to pump your fist or burst into tears. The urge to blame can exert a magnetic pull. But isn’t blame and separation where all suffering stems from? Alternatively, we can get real conscious and choose to unite with one another. Through connection and helping, we widen the range of beneficial outcomes available.
There is the very real possibility that by choosing connection instead of criticism, we can calm and heal this blessed, crazy, mixed-up, profoundly meaningful world of ours. We can offer this transformation in the earth-shattering moments as well as the seemingly insignificant ones. With a good dose of love, humor, vision, and grit, connection connection connection. I can’t promise that it’ll be easy, but it just might be the most powerful and memorable momentS of our day.