There’s nothing like spending 12 confining hours in a car with your twin 7-year-old daughters to make you really appreciate being a conscious parent. 6 hours up, not too much of a problem. The 6 hours back, however, were a bit more challenging.
We started off okay, with a friendly car game called, “Rubberneckers” which was a lot of fun and definitely helped us pass the time looking for fun things out the car window. When we finished up the game, Sophie became quite upset with Maggie because she had made the assumption that Maggie was not being completely honest about how many points she had.
There has developed a bit of a lack of trust between the two, as they see more deeply into themselves than anyone else can, and they know when the other is trying to pull “a fast one” and will call the other out for it without hesitation.
Now my goal as a conscious parent is to teach my children to also be “The Observer” and to try to step out of their feelings and find the root of the problem. So while Sophie was waiting for Maggie to prove to her that she did indeed have more points, I asked Sophie to consider that even if Maggie did have the points, who’s to say that she didn’t come by the points dishonestly? How would she ever know for sure?
The answer came rather grudgingly, “I can’t know.” So my point then to Sophie was that we should just enjoy the game and let the Universe take care of any “cheaters” because it’s not our job to. This was all well and good until Sophie bursts into tears and started yelling that it just wasn’t any fun to play the game if someone is cheating! This caused her distress because she could tell that the game was indeed, FUN and it only became NOT-FUN when she was apparently not the winner.
Now here is where I got hung up, because I have the same feelings about the “cheaters” out there. For me, I get upset when someone “cheats” at the road rules by speeding, cutting people off, and generally being rude. In the adult world, this might be the beginnings of road rage and something that I have struggled with all my life. I grew up watching my parents cuss out drivers left and right, so it is very hard for me to control those reflexes.
I began to consider the similarities and wondered if I Sophie’s distress would provide me insight into my own discomfort with the so-called, “Bad Drivers” out there. My thoughts turned to a saying by Og Mandino – “I will love the light for it shows me the way, but I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
This quote has come to me from time to time to help me remember that I am aware of who I really am. I am a loving, caring person who does her best to follow all of the road rules whenever I can. Sometimes, when I want to follow the rules, and I am unable to do so, it frustrates me that I can’t communicate to the other driver that “I had no choice”. For example, if there was something in the road and a driver behind me couldn’t see that, they might honk at me to go and get upset with me. That is until they see that something else was causing me not to go.
While I try to keep this perspective when someone is driving poorly on the road, it is still so easy to slip into judgement! And while I’m not sure what exactly I am “losing” in the great game of driving, I still feel “cheated” when someone gets away with their poor driving. I think to myself, “Why can’t there ever be a police officer there to pull them over and give them a ticket? When I have gotten speeding tickets in the past, I stopped speeding! So everyone should get a ticket like I have!” I realize that now I am sounding just like Sophie and our hang-ups aren’t very different at all.
My good friend, Nannette Kennedy, once told me that she likes to put positive words on the outside of her car to help her remember that everything is perfect, even the “bad drivers” out there. She’ll use shoe polish and write, “Love” and “Peace” on her windows. I like this idea! She says, “It’s really hard for you to maintain a bad attitude when there are reminders all over the windows.”
Later, after the drive, I sat down with Sophie and I reminded her that she was a great person, a loving kind and honest person who also wanted everyone else to be honest. But there were also times when she wasn’t honest, and when we feel bad about that it’s easy to see it in other people. Debbie Ford, Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson talk about this in the “The Shadow Effect”. We have to always remember who we really are, and also who everyone else really is: a perfect, loving, kind soul straight from heaven.
If we didn’t have the “cheaters” in the world, we’d never see the “stars” either.