Lessons at the Traffic Light

IMG_20150926_085140I’m getting tired of other drivers on the road trying to pressure me into making unsafe choices (like turning left when I can clearly see traffic still coming).

This happened again this morning. I was at a light and the car in front of me had already turned after the green arrow was gone. I was waiting patiently for either space to move or the next green arrow when I noticed the driver behind me.

He was gesticulating madly and honking his horn at me. I pointed to the cars still coming and muttered asshole (it’s true so I won’t sugarcoat it).

And then it shifted for me. I took a deep breath in, and with my exhale I sent him love, because clearly he needed it.

It is so easy to shut down, to let the anger and frustration in others build in ourselves.

Or we can take a deep inhale, and with the exhale let it go.

It’s not always easy but with practice it comes.

We can start in the moments like I had at the traffic light. I’ll never see that person again. I don’t know what’s going on in his life. I can hope his day got better after that moment.

When we can open our hearts and share love with the people who we connect with in passing, it becomes easier to keep our hearts open in the moments of frustration with those whom we love the most (who are usually also the ones who are best at pushing our buttons).

Breathe and open up again, like a flower that opens to the sun each morning. Again and again. Let that be your practice. Let your breath be the sacred pause.

So maybe I’m not getting tired of those drivers after all. Maybe I am grateful that they give me the gift of pausing and opening my heart. And maybe as the practice deepens within me, I won’t need the lesson from them anymore.

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