For those who have been following my recent saga of moving for the fourth time in four years, my 14-year-old son getting hit by a car on his bike and riding in an ambulance to hospital where he ended up being fine, the moving van swiping my parked vehicle in the driveway and doing thousands of dollars damage, a family of raccoons living in the fireplace at our new address and my son getting bitten by a dog on his leg before he left to compete at the North American Irish Dance Championships, thank you for listening.
Last Friday night my kids were dancing at a local street festival for five hours in the blasting heat. We went early to prepare and I was lucky to get a great parking spot. When we headed back to the car at almost midnight, there was a nice couple standing by the curb. They had been waiting by my van for hours because they had hit it while trying to pass.
Initially I was just so exasperated. The damage isn’t that bad, but it’s another thing to take care of. Afterwards as I thought about it, I realized that many people would not have waited. Some wouldn’t even leave a note. They were apologetic and I cannot believe they waited that long in that heat.
My irritation turned into gratitude. It wasn’t my fault but it would have been had they left.
Things can always be worse in life. I’m currently reading the book Shantaram and the author, Gregory David Roberts, writes, “The burden of happiness can only be relieved by the balm of suffering.”
I think what he is saying is that sometimes we get so comfortable in our happy lives that we almost become unhappy. Jaded. We don’t remember that what we once yearned for is at our fingertips yet goes unnoticed. It could be loved ones, passions, the roof above our heads, the food on our table, or the friends who have our backs no matter what.
In our busyness and lack of self-care, we often end up focused on the thorns instead of the roses.
There are so many levels of suffering and sometimes we manifest it through our perspective. We weigh ourselves down with something that someone else would smile right through. Perspective is everything.
All the things that happen to us, teach us something. If we are willing to hear the lesson.
What can we learn from a bump in the road today?