Have you ever had a planned trip with a friend that turns into a nightmare before it becomes a powerful life lesson? I guess you can say this is one of those stories…
It was a beautiful summer day and we were driving from San Jose to the Monterey/Carmel area in California. We have not seen each other for months so I was looking forward to spend some time with him and find out how he was doing.
The plan was to take highway 17, thru the stunning mountains of Santa Cruz, then merge into highway 1 and just enjoy the beautiful, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean… Have lunch in Carmel and then drive down to Big Sur, (perhaps go for a quick hike), before hitting back home for the day.
We were only driving for a few minutes when he said to me, “I have to make a quick stop.” Before I had a chance to ask him what for, he was already pulling into a gas station right off the freeway exit. To my surprise he just wanted to clean the windshield of his car…
I thought to myself, “OK, maybe he is big on safety, I can appreciate that”. The next thing I know we are back on the road, but it did not take long before he was asking me to get the CD case from the back of his car.
Once again, I am thinking to myself, “can we just relax and perhaps catch up with what’s going on with our lives first”? But as I was reaching back looking for the case he said to me, “this is really awesome, we need to put on the right music. When you open the case there is a list with the name of the songs, and there are numbers in the CD so you know which CD has that song”.
Are you serious? Do I really need to do that now? Not to mention, “who has time to make a freakin CD database?”. But I didn’t say anything to him, instead I said to myself as I was looking thru the list, “if it’s bothering me it’s because there is something that he is reminding me about myself… or someone else in my past. No need to project, just stay calm and enjoy the ride.”
I immediately felt better about having such awareness and the ability to choose my wellbeing. I found some gratitude in knowing that he was just giving me an opportunity to become aware of some unconscious issues and with it the ability to grow from within.
As I continued to look thru the list he said, “I hope there is no traffic on 17, (meaning the freeway), I want to see the sun reflection in the ocean right before we merge into highway 1. It has to be at the right time, or we will miss it”
“Holy shit”, I said, but this time out loud. “Can you see how controlling you are acting? Can we just be in the moment and enjoy what is?”
We immediately got into this big discussion, or perhaps argument, about our individual perspectives, beliefs and opinions. The “who is right” mind game.
By the time we were done and able to get out of our heads, we had driven almost 100 miles and missed out the entire trip down to Big Sur. We sat in the car for what it seem like a very long time in complete silence… Silence has a way to calm the mind so you can hear your inner voice.
Then…my friend was able to accept certain things to me, but not without having some direct impact to the trust within our friendship. I can feel more in the space between his words. Sometimes friends don’t know how to ask for what they truly need from you, because they don’t know that what they want the most it’s to feel loved and supported.
I understood then that there is a gigantic difference between sharing your insights with someone when they have asked for help… and letting your mind take over by giving out unsolicited information. Its just another ego trip, disguised in some noble cause.
How much did he get out of the whole thing?, I will never know. In that moment all he did was to accept to me that he was caught up in controlling everything in the outside (people, conditions and things), because deep inside he felt empty and disconnected. He also admitted that he had been worrying lately about his sobriety because he had been feeling depressed and maybe that was the reason. But that doesn’t mean he did anything about it.
“Knowing and doing are two different things.”
Me… I realized that the key to my life is to identify myself with my True Self, what I called my Consciousness. As much and as often as possible. Not my humanity. Thats how you can tap into the power that keeps you grounded, in the middle of life circumstances. Of course your mind can argue that there are no accident in life, but I believe life will continue to bring you possibilities to do that, but not at someone else’s expense.
“It’s my attitude and understanding about life, moment by moment, that will determine how much I will struggle or how much I will thrive.”
Self Accountability is definitely the greatest gift you can give to yourself, to the people you love and to the collective Consciousness of humanity.
Unleash your potential,