The other day, I was driving home from the gym and heard someone honking their horn. I looked in my rearview mirror, and someone had obviously cut off the guy honking his horn. The two-lane road suddenly narrowed down to one, and both of these drivers wanted to be in the same place.
We crept forward a little, and the guilty driver was clearly in front of the driver with the extraverted horn. Every 15 or 20 seconds, they reminded the offending driver of their offense.
I thought, why is this person still honking?
The individual that cut them off knew they were upset. The person was already sorry or indifferent. Their respective places on the road were not going to change.
Maybe they wanted to let everyone know about the severity of this driving etiquette infraction. Maybe they were hoping to get a reaction.
Most likely, the person continued to blast their horn because they were angry. They found themselves someplace they didn’t want to be.
Then I started to think about how we react when we feel slighted. How often do we find ourselves rallying against where we are?
There is one indisputable truth in life: You are where you are.
You might want to be someplace different or think you should be somewhere else, but you are ALWAYS, exactly where you are.
Learning this has been a huge adjustment for me.
I was taught it’s important to get ahead and to push to get someplace else to be successful. If you are standing still, you are falling behind. All that may be true, but it doesn’t negate the importance of first recognizing where you are now.
Once you acknowledge and accept where you are, so much resistance goes away.
The circumstances of how you got there can begin to fade into the background. There is no need to blame others or feel guilty. All the justifications, excuses and rationalizations are meaningless and unnecessary.
Many of us choose to stay focused on how we got to where we are and replay alternate scenarios imagining different results. While it is good to learn from our ‘mistakes’, so we don’t repeat them, the sooner we learn to be present in our current situation, the better we can move forward.
The individual honking their horn was having a hard time accepting where they were after being cut off.
What can you do when you find you are someplace you don’t want to be?
- Choose how you will react. Blowing off steam is okay. Go ahead and honk that horn if you’re cut off. Honk it a bunch of times if it feels good. When you bottle up your emotions, they eventually find a way out, perhaps by overreacting to something in the future.
- Observe where you are, not just the parts you don’t like. Take a ‘fly on the wall’ view of yourself.
- Do something if you are inspired, but don’t necessarily just follow your logic.
- Recognize if this is a one-off thing or a pattern.
The benefit to you is the letting go of resistance that follows you when you don’t accept where you are in the moment. When you do, you will notice a softening within you. It’s amazing that such a small shift can make such a big difference.
Do you often find yourself cut off or in the slowest lane? Are you often impatient? How about trying to get ahead in life, but feel others are more deserving?
Each of these statements carries some internal resistance. If any of these statements or something similar applies to you, think about how much resistance you are carrying with you throughout the day.
Maybe you can get rid of some of it by accepting where you are right now.