November 21, 2007
Stuck in traffic with vehicles in the lanes on both sides of me moving slowly but consistently, I read a sign on the back of the truck ahead of me.
"Inside height 110” from nose to rear"
Sometimes, on morning drives to work, I find a lane and stay put. Almost driving on auto-pilot this morning, I noticed cars crawling on either side of me, but didn’t pay too much attention. I remember getting caught up in the “nose to rear” reference and that I’d never seen it before. My mind looked for some regional reference like a license plate or company logo to associate with this unusual description, but I couldn’t see anything. I got lost in the meaning of nose – did that mean the nose of the cab itself or some nose of the trailer? I continued to drive, almost unaware of my surroundings, pondering that silly sign on the trailer.
For some reason, I figured I had to stay stuck behind this monstrous moving machine and couldn’t get around him. I couldn’t see in front of the truck, but I snapped out of my preoccupation and noticed that other travelers passed by me. Finally, I looked into my driver’s side mirror and saw the lane open, put on my blinker and pulled out to pass the tall vehicle blocking my view. Passing easily, I noticed there was nothing in front of him. Rather, it was his choice to travel below the speed limit. I signaled to move in front of him, changed lanes and sped along to my destination.
A road block or blindfold?
Many times in our lives we allow obstacles to hold us back. Like my experience with the large truck, we stay stuck behind a problem because we don’t notice our progress lagging behind. Going through life disconnected from our surroundings, we enter an almost trance-like state while consenting to allow something outside of ourselves to define our pace.
First, notice the hindrance itself. It may never even occur to us that something impedes us from moving towards what we really want in life. Paying attention to our situation with respect to our goals and dreams proves a most important factor in our personal growth. I neglected to interpret the 110 inch tall vehicle as an obstacle and complacently followed its lead. It wasn’t until I realized the truck held me back, did I take action.
Second, observe the delay in momentum. Knowing life gives us hills and valleys on the road to our true selves, we accept small disturbances in our desired growth. The truck ahead formed a barrier to my speedy arrival at work, yet I seemed content just to keep moving forward – albeit well under the speed limit. After awhile, our tolerance for delay evolves into low denominator and we resolve a new level of comfort in our progress. We accept the roadblock as “truth” and blindfold our options for forward movement.
Giving away our power
While little in life actually falls under our direct control, the attitudes and visualizations of our lives still belong to us. Often, we find ourselves abdicating our power to something "out there" instead of acknowledging our own strengths and sense of direction. Like my trip on the freeway, I deferred to the larger truck for a number of reasons: It was bigger than me, the driver sat higher off the ground, and I assumed his perspective reigned superior to mine - I thought he may be privy to information I was not. All these “excuses” flowed through my mind, if not consciously, but subconsciously and upon reflection, these reasons justified why I stayed behind the slow-moving tractor-trailer for so long. I put aside my own judgment and perspective to follow, rather than take my own road. Simply put, I gave away my power.
The obstacles in our lives loom largely ahead of us. By the time we finally notice that they are just obstacles and not dead-ends or one way streets, we seldom possess the confidence necessary to change direction. We already convinced ourselves that no alternative conditions exist, so our truth then appears as if there’s no getting around our difficulties.
Put your intuition in gear!
When we finally wake up to the moment, we discover a few enlightening things. Whether external or self-imposed, the barrier to our success has little or nothing to do with our true self. It’s something manifested in your life and can be removed. It doesn’t matter if the hindrance is 110 inches tall, a negative condition or a defeatist attitude. All these exist outside of who you truly are.
My favorite cartoon character, Mr. Magoo, knew no obstacles. He went blindly through life expecting everything to turn out well, and for him, it always did. Was he handicapped? Some say his ignorance of the world around him charmed the rest of us into watching his success at every turn. Nonetheless, Quincy Magoo kept moving forward. He never acknowledged problems or setbacks and used his intuition to bring about a happy ending.
With a simple change of direction using the blind trust of your spiritual sense of direction you move around the barriers to your greater good and face the clear road ahead. Turn on the signal to your desires and move around the obstacles in your life, both physical and emotional. Once you leave the roadblock behind you, the only memory of being stuck in the traffic of inertia will be the faded vision of it in your rear view mirror.
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