By Ann Darwicki, RN, CPC
On a recent trip to visit my son, I came out of the mall on a hot, stormy night to find my car had a flat tire. Fortunately, my son and daughter-in-law were with me but drove their own car, so we decided to come back the following morning to change the tire. I gave a sigh of relief that it worked out so well and sent a silent prayer of thanks; recently, I had been concerned about the tread getting low on my tires.
We returned the following morning to change the tire without success. My son could not get the lug nuts off, no matter how hard he tried. Feeling a little defeated, we called a tow truck. I was thrilled to find out that Pep Boys would tow my vehicle to their garage for $50—$25 if you were a rewards member, which I was! I became even more grateful.
When my tires were inspected, they found nails in two tires, a piece of metal in the third tire and low tread on the fourth tire. It looked like the new tires I had planned on purchasing toward the end of the year couldn›t wait, especially with a road trip to Florida only a week away. It just so happened that the store also had a great deal on new tires and the employees agreed to stay past closing to install them since I was visiting from out of state. (Where were you when a situation like this happened?)
I once again counted my blessings at how perfectly everything was transpiring. While it seems there is never a good time for vehicle repairs, I couldn’t have planned better circumstances for a flat tire. My mind automatically played out many scenarios of what could have happened, minus the happy ending. Instead of feeling the angst, stress and silent ranting about my misfortune—which I definitely would have felt in the past—I was instead filled with a sense of gratitude and being lovingly watched over.
My son teased me while we were waiting five hours for the tires to be installed, saying this probably was not what I had in mind when I told him I wanted to spend more time together. I was surprised to realize that I had enjoyed myself as much at Pep Boys as I would have if we were out doing some other fun activity together.
It was in that moment that I became aware of how far I had come with my self-awareness, growth and acceptance of what is—my ability to just “roll with it.”
I spent so much of my life focusing on what was wrong and wondering why I always felt a pervasive unhappiness, despite many blessings. However, the past several years I have been learning how our thoughts, perceptions and beliefs, as well as the meaning we give our experiences, shapes our lives. And by changing my focus to allow, accept and have gratitude for what is (not what I think should be), I am able to see the gifts in my everyday experiences, even a flat tire. As a result, I am much happier and more peaceful.
I felt proud of myself as I acknowledged how far I had come, but my elation was short-lived as the universe quickly gave me another opportunity to practice my new outlook.
At home several days later, a ringing phone awoke me from sleep. My husband quickly informed me that he was OK, but while driving to work he had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting someone and the brake line ruptured, leaving his truck stranded on the side of the road. For the second time in five days, there was the need for a tow truck and vehicle repairs. The grateful, peaceful feeling I had so easily cultivated a few days ago now eluded me. I felt my emotions sliding downward as I was calculating the cost of the repairs and thinking about money for our vacation, which was now only days away.
Sensing the downward turn of my emotions, my husband reminded me of how fortunate we were. He was able to avoid a collision, no one was injured, our vehicle wasn’t damaged (I had just decreased our collision insurance coverage the month before) and everything was working out perfectly. He learned that our vehicle model had issues with the brake lines corroding and rupturing. I shuddered as I realized how bad it could have been. What if he hadn’t avoided the collision; what if he had been seriously injured; or what if one of our kids was driving when it happened? I realized the cost of towing and repairs is minuscule in comparison to the welfare of my family.
The gratitude that first eluded me quickly returned as I shifted my focus to the blessings in front of me.
I once again sent a silent prayer of thanks, not just for our luck with the vehicles, but also for the peace, joy and gratitude that have come with my new awareness.
Transformation certainly is a journey and the road to spiritual awareness has many unexpected turns. By accepting the unexpected, I have the opportunity to enjoy the ride.
Ann Darwicki, RN is a Certified Professional Life Coach who completed her training at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is the owner and founder of Whole Being Coaching, specializing in coaching others to live the life of their dreams. Prior to becoming a life coach, Ann obtained as Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Delaware Technical and Community College. She has 25 years of nursing experience caring for women and children, with a lifelong affinity for holistic medicine. She is a Reiki practitioner and Nurse Luminary. She is also a freelance writer. She can be reached at 302-750-0574 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.