A Miracle in Disguise
On Saturday night I drove right into a snow white-out. I left my house with small flurries floating in the air. I turned up a hill into a snowstorm, and quickly lost all visibility.
I intentionally do my best to avoid the snow and not drive in it. Why? Because I’m not an experienced driver in this condition. I felt blindsided by the storm. I knew I had to get off the road and calm myself down. So, I turned into a well-lit church parking lot. I was so upset I found myself in this situation.
Eventually the snow stopped and calls with those I love calmed me down. I was able to drive back home. As the night processed instead about forgetting about it and moving on, I begin to think of times I had been “blindsided” in relationships, and jobs. (I know, so related right?) Anyhow, my mind becomes a runaway train and starts reviewing my current life and looking for places I need to shore up and “self-protect”. One way I do this is to “get it right”. If “I do it right” and make my boss or partner happy then all will be well with the world.
Wrong. In Iyanla Vanzant’s book, “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up” she quotes James Baldwin who said, “You cannot fix what you will not face!” The clue to successful awareness is that you only have to look and become aware, you do not have to fix. Once you are aware, you are empowered to choose what works and what does not work.”
So, what did I do? I followed my “do it right” into an argument. Unpleasant things were said and a major trigger for me is someone saying, “You’re being heavy”. My father and every man I have been with has said that in the thick of a fight.
This time though it didn’t trigger me because by the grace of God, I heard a different response I could say in a church service earlier in the day, where Iyanla’s quote first came to my attention. “When folks point out unpleasant things about you of which you are already aware, rather than falling into the trap of anger, you can simply say, “Thank you for sharing. I know that about myself, and I am working on it!””
I got to choose and then the person I was arguing with said, “I feel like a jerk”. And then, instead of being right, I said, “I feel like a jerk too” and we combusted into shared laughter. Grace in action through laughter, which Victor Borge said is “the smallest distance between two people”. My awareness brings healing to a lifelong trigger and maybe if I’m lucky gets laid to rest for good, because now I’m AWARE that “my heaviness” takes me out of fun, flow and true connection.
Iyanla also shares, “Becoming aware of yourself and the impact you have on the world is not an easy task. It is not for the faint of heart or the weak in mind. It requires the same kind of determination I imagine most Olympic distance runners must have. You must be willing to listen, keep plugging away learning to accept, understand, and love yourself exactly as you are, coming from where you have been.”
So maybe that snowy white-out was a gift in disguise, and in the end, where miracles could arise.
Together we head toward Spring!
P .S. I love to connect, feel free to comment.