My daughter and I drove north to visit my dad. I did not turn on my Waze app because I knew the route well. However, I failed to consider how Waze always knows where the traffic backups are and will kindly reroute you for your convenience. There had apparently been an accident earlier that blocked lanes on I-294. Where it typically takes one hour to get to my dad's, an hour is how long I muddled through traffic making it a two hour drive up. I turned on Waze after sitting for twenty minutes just on the 294 ramp and 'she' indicated I still had 40 minutes to sit in traffic. My first reaction was frustration but, as I looked at the sea of cars all around me, I had to let that go because we were all in the same anchored boat!
I thought about the people who were in the accident. And, without any judgment whatsoever, wondered if they had been paying attention and had any idea of the ripple effect that had transpired. We often do not have any clue what ripples we create and how they might affect other people. I wasn't in a hurry, but I looked at the sea of cars and thought some people are late for work and some have missed a meeting and someone might be in labor... That's just one layer of the ripple! Someone else had to step up and cover the meeting and another employee had to stay late or work harder to cover an absence...how did that effect them and so on?
“There is a vibrational effect in every action, just as there is vibration that rings from every letter in every word.” ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
I pictured my goal way off in the distance. I could not easily get there. The cars seemed to represent a chaotic mind trying to merge its way to calmness. Thoughts keep flying in and out like the cars that attempted to change lanes hoping to better their circumstances, finding they could not. Frustration builds; the traffic moves even slower.
Robert H. Schuller wrote, "Press on. Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today."
And, indeed, by the time I made my way home, there was no traffic holding me back.
Or was this a lesson in patience? Only one week prior, it took me forty minutes round trip to drive my son to Metea, his school which is five minutes down the road.
"The shortest distance between two points is under construction." ~Noelie Altito
All of these ideas merged into one...the importance of just staying present and aware. If I am not paying attention, perhaps I initiate or cannot respond quickly enough to the actions of someone else not being present. If my mind is crowded with thoughts, it, too, is not present in this moment. Instead, It is stressing over something in the past or something in the future. Frustration is created when our desired actions are thwarted by something in our external environment. And then it becomes an issue of illusory control...
“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.” ― Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die