I have had some car trouble this week with the front shock absorbers needing replaced. This problem made me feel as if I was driving with flat tyres, and left me wondering if my head would hit the roof with each bump in the road. My woo-hoo’s from the initial bouncy bouncing quickly changed to boo-hoo’s with the realisation of the issue and the cost of repairs.
Just as I arrived home from the garage, I tuned into some Abraham Hicks episodes. I laughed when two minutes into the first session, Esther Hicks recounted a story by her late husband Jerry. It involved, would you believe it, shock absorbers. Jerry had told her about how he had travelled along a road so bumpy that it seemed impossible for the car to make it through, but due to the amazing shock absorbers in the vehicle, Jerry felt he was driving on smooth ground. The point of the story was this. We all travel bumpy roads at times, literally and metaphorically, but our reaction to the bumps is all about the shock absorbers we put there to begin with.
Esther explained that bumps can be fun to some people, and horrible to others. My bumps from the worn shock absorbers had definitely been fun as I drove along unaware of the mechanical issue at hand, but Esther was referring more to the bumps we experience in life. Bumps teach us resilience she explained and I couldn’t agree more. It is fabulous when we experience a quiet phase of life, when everything is going well and peace and harmony dominate, but life would be boring without some bumps. Instead of fearing bumps, if we enjoy them, or at least appreciate them, we will learn that with every bump comes the ability to grow and evolve. Then armed with our own quality inner shock absorbers, we can bounce back from bumpy patches, or even maintain a smooth ride straight through the middle of any bumpy patches.
When we conquer a painful or demanding life challenge, the feelings of relief from knowing it is all over are palpable. We may say we don’t ever want to feel those emotions again. But it is only by feeling those emotions and understanding them that we develop resilience. This not only helps us, but it renders us more empathetic beings, able to understand ourselves and others from a place of compassion. We are all emotional beings, so it is inevitable that when another challenging event or situation crops up (which it will), we will feel a range of the same or even new painful emotions. Depending on how we coped previously with those feelings and emotions will either help or hinder us move forward and so on, and so on.
We should be extremely cautious of stepping in and taking control of situations or people to ‘save’ them from experiencing emotions as this in no way helps them. While comforting and providing options for healing such as offering to accompany someone to seek out professional guidance is helpful, stepping in and controlling the situation or shielding the individual may dis-able them. In fact, in such situations only the ego of the so called ‘saviour’ benefits.
If our internal shock absorbers are worn out and cannot handle a bumpy road, then our emotions and reactions will excessively bounce around all over the place. We won’t handle curves well when they appear on our path and we will continue to feel the bumps even when the road on which we are travelling is smooth. Small bumps will feel like massive lumps. A few bumps will feel like a constant stream. The fear of a hitting a bump in the road will dominate our lives and we may hide from fully living to avoid any possibility of pain.
If we can develop resilience from the bumps we have experienced and thus, our internal shock absorbers are in good condition, then no matter how bumpy things get, we can carry on through and benefit from the experience of feeling and understanding the emotions involved.
There is a road that opens to us when our internal shock absorbers are functioning well. It is the road to freedom. In the words of Gita Bellin, “The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings.”