For a few years from late 2006 to late 2009 I was unable to drive due to a bad fall that took its precious, precious time to heal. During that time I had the privilege to be chauffeured around via vehicle by family, friends, church associates and family members at the time. Literally, anywhere I needed to go or wanted to go had to be at the beck and call of others. I often dreaded the thought of having to pick up the phone to ask anyone to do anything for me. Pride and fear of rejection or the concern of being a burden were running rampant in my life. It seemed like the longer I dreaded the ask the longer the healing process took which required me to have to ask more people, for much longer than I’d planned, which, for a girl who likes to plan really messed with my plans. Even in my anguish of not being in control of my own schedule, or arriving to my own destinations on my own I recall now, being able to see so much from the side view. Things I might have missed like beautiful flowers, fresh graffiti, the “hot now” sign at Krispy Kreme, changing leaves, a family of deer in the distance, buildings being built or deteriorating, setting suns or blue birds frolicking on the road were now easy to spot because all I had to do was sit back and see.
I’m a firstborn, a natural born “controller” (in the sweetest, possible Southern woman way), a professional planner, a type A personality, and an INFJ who often has a hard time relinquishing control. (Whew! There I said it!) There’s nothing like three years on the right side of the car to teach a girl how to learn to let go…or so I thought. Riding with others since that unwanted experience in patience and letting go, has been a rarity now as I live alone and live far from most friends. So I’ll be honest and say that the I’m in control/I can do it on my own/I don’t want to be a bother monster was creeping back in my life. Recently I had the opportunity to ride along with a family member. It wasn’t until zipping up 65 North at the mercy of someone else behind the wheel going in a direction I wouldn’t have recommended did I realize how much I still had to work toward letting go, and how much I’d missed enjoying the view from the passenger’s seat. I realize now that for those who lead, in any capacity (which most of all of us do), it’s sometimes hard to let go, but it’s something we owe it to ourselves and others to do.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Not being the driver let’s you enjoy the view from the passenger’s seat.
- Not always being the center of attention let’s you step back to see the beauty of others.
- Not always being the one who has something to say let’s others be heard.
- Not being the one to always put plans in motion lets you simply show up and enjoy.
- Not always being Number 1 allows you to learn from those who are.
- Not always being in control allows relationships to flourish, unexpected blessings to surprise you, pride to disappear, trust to build and the gifts of others to show up…for YOU and ME!
So the next time I’m tempted to take control, I’ll (try my absolute best to) opt to sit back and enjoy the view.