My car is in the shop….again. It started acting funny on Christmas Day and has been in and out of the mechanic’s ever since. A few months ago, the head gasket was replaced which left me without a car for 3 weeks, waiting for parts. I got it home and within a week it was back in…the head gasket was gone again! I feel strange without my own car to come and go when I want to…..have had my own car since I was in my 20’s. Now, I need to coordinate all of my appointments with Jack and have no ability to spontaneously go anywhere.
Coincidentally (and I don’t believe in coincidences), I started meditating the day after Christmas too. I’ve meditated, off and on, through the years but I always found reasons not to do it consistently …like, “What can you really get accomplished just sitting?, you know lots of people who mediate and they are far from enlightened, I run every morning and that is my meditation time, I don’t have time right now, I need to do a Google search on the evolution of the fishing pole….” …on and on.
But the real reason was, I found it extremely difficult to stop myself; my body and my mind, long enough to sit still for 15 or 20 minutes and “do nothing”. There was this “jumpy” part of me that resisted sitting perfectly still….felt that if I had “extra” time, I should be doing something “productive”.
A few years ago, I spent some time with an elderly man who was dying of cancer. He had been extremely busy his entire life….huge garden, very involved with his church and yet he always had a somewhat “frantic” quality about him. He was not comfortable slowing down, did not know how to relax. The cancer was forcing this to happen and he was resisting it, saying things like, “This is awful, I can’t stand it”. He wanted to interact with life as he always had; tough, in control. Yet, the more he lost brain function, the easier he was to be with. He laughed more, said, “I have no idea” when asked a question, instead of thinking he had to know. He was a much more enjoyable man to be around…even to himself.
Bernie Siegle (in his book, Love, Medicine and Miracles) talked about illness as “God’s wake up call”….it can be an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives, slow down, laugh more, be more real…But can’t every challenge (thing that we don’t want to happen that happens anyway) hold the same opportunity for becoming more of the person that we would ultimately like to be? I love the question,”What is the gift in this?”…I believe it opens unseen doors inside.
When I get these little pangs of “I NEED my car! I can’t stand this!” I don’t get my car back sooner, I am just making my life into a rough ride. Life has a wisdom beyond my understanding….there are many little and big gift boxes waiting to be opened, but they don’t hand them out at the drive through window.
p.s. It is Spring Cleaning time…every year I like to go through my stuff and give away things that I no longer wear/use/need. Since you took the time to read ALL THE WAY to the bottom of this, I am giving away the pair of earrings in the photo. They are small, one of a kind, sterling earrings that I just never wore. If you would like them, just comment on my blog with the word in capitals, YES someplace and I will do a random pick for the winner on Friday, the 25.