Do You Hate Traffic?

Traffic has always been a sore spot for me, yet as I get older I notice the wound is wide open. I am now finding myself in resistance to going places even if the destination is something I will enjoy. Now, when everything is open and the ride is smooth I am fantastic, but when the traffic is heavy and takes twice as long AND other people are cutting me off or doing crazy driving, I am a mess when I arrive at my destination and it takes me a bit to regroup. I have a feeling, based on how some of the people come in to Pathways of Grace, that I am not alone in that.

We find ourselves asking – is it worth the drive?  What we are really saying is, “is it worth going through the pain of getting there?” Isn’t that life also? How easy is it to anticipate the pain of reaching a place of inner freedom, one’s passion, a healthy weight, and go, “nope, it’s easier to just stay home. Who wants to deal with that traffic?” The reason for getting on the journey is lost in the thought of the pain to get there.

I have been playing with this idea lately as a contemplative practice. As always, first becoming aware of where I am. Say, for a physical journey, I am feeling resistance because the traffic may be horrible. Ok, I don’t like scary, slow traffic. From awareness, I move to choice. I get to choose how I encounter this pathway to get to this great place I want to go. Then I focus on the destination, I focus on gratitude for the car, the roads, the wonderful book I get to listen to. I get to practice sending out prayers to the drivers around me who are also stressed. I get to practice breathing techniques. You get the picture. Now, this isn’t always easy to do, yet I am finding it a wonderful practice. My body is still stressed when the traffic is very congested yet I even find myself practicing self-care to my body for the amazing job it did handling all the dangerous scenarios rather than just staying in the stressor, plowing through to the next thing.

I have found that traffic is a microcosm for life. Sometimes surprisingly easy and fun. Sometimes overwhelming and stressful. Using it as a spiritual practice has actually helped in other aspects of life. I invite you to try it too.

At Pathways of Grace we realize that the traffic on that pathway can be scary and overwhelming and it’s easy to want to just stay at home. That is what we are here for. Rest stops with amazing people to help you keep going and support you along the way. Because they too are on their own pathways and are committed to the journey. Because the destination to Grace, Freedom and Love is worth the traffic. Come join us.

-Amanda