I used to hate it when my mom taught me how to drive. My dad taught me many things; how not slow down for a turn, how to watch my blind spots, how to drive through life unafraid. But when my mom taught me how to drive she was always cautious of everything. She would see accidents coming up from everywhere. She would see people breaking ahead of us and instantly pump on her imaginary break from her passenger side. She would yell to “watch out” or “keep an eye out” for looming troubles that could cause accidents. She was always trying to steer me away from what she would see but nothing that was actually there.
I found myself annoyed when it was time for her to teach me how to drive. She was always so anxious... so cautious, she made me scared and worried about what was coming up. In fact, I found myself more nervous because of her nervousness, more than what was actually happening on the road. I learned to read her nervousness and avoid bringing her any sense of panic or worry. Over time, I focused on her more than on the road.
I say all this because a lot of us are my mom in relationships aren't we? We find ourselves navigating the lives of other people; the people we genuinely care about. We don't want any harm to come towards them so we navigate their lives.
We find ourselves navigating the lives of other people
We're the ones pumping imaginary brakes telling them to "slow down, be cautious, be weary don't get in that relationship, don't take that job. don't buy that house because of course you never know what you're going to find". We find ourselves trying to steer the direction of their lives; "no you don't want to be a doctor...it takes a long time too much schooling; no maybe try going to business school instead; no you don't want to date that person because he or she might hurt you". We want to navigate for them we want to save them from imaginary mistakes; the predicted mistakes, the projected mistakes, that we see them approaching.
This way of being robs us and them of the experience. It robs us of the joy of just being a passenger in their life. Witnessing all of the beauty of the surroundings; all of the experiences that they decide and choose to bring us along for. It robs them of the opportunities to navigate their own life; for them to choose the direction and their own path at which they want to go; the choice of turning right or turning left... of turning around and altering the course of their lives.
Ultimately that is their decision, but we (being the moms in the passenger seat) rob them of this opportunity, this choice of this right, to make mistakes to possibly get into accidents to make a wrong turn, but it's all about their decision to drive. Dive their life and if they choose to turn that wheel over to something greater, why should it be us? Why not let it be something that as far more Majestic than we are?
How can you let go of control in the passenger seat of other people's lives?
How can we focus on living this life instead of focusing on all the potholes, detours, and red lights?
Let's focus on our destinations and enjoy being the, invited, passenger in others lives.