Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Driver Behind the Wheel

We often associate cars with the people who drive them. On occasion, we assume we can judge the lifestyle of someone just by the type, or condition, of car they own. In fact, the majority of people who want nicer cars don’t want the cars because they offer more comfort, but choose them because of their value as a status symbol.

Associating a car to a driver is the same as associating our body with who we really are. Our body is but a vehicle our soul uses to exist on this plane, no more, no less. The type of body we have, the physical dents, scratches, and occasional mechanical failures do not reflect on the silent self who dwells quietly within the confines of the vehicle. Although we are responsible for regular maintenance and general care, we cannot prevent certain “accidents”.

The driver is still the same person, whether the car runs smooth as oil, or sputters like a buffalo with asthma; whether it is a shiny Mercedez or a faded Oldsmobile. What counts is that the driver realizes the car is simply an object, a mean of transportation from point A to point B; regardless of how beat-up or how unfashionable it is, it is a bundle of metal and glass which has only one real mission: that of allowing the driver to move and function within the environment he lives in. If someone dents one of the doors or scratches the paint, they have not scratched or dented the driver.

Understanding this concept is essential in our assessment of all that affects us. If we take an honest look, most events, people and “life storms” only affect our body, or the very same feelings that are born of it. Most often, that which is crushed in a confrontation is our ego. Sensations born from our ego, such as pride, vulnerability, fear and pain, are not related to our spirit. Our spirit cannot be injured, broken or killed, as it is birthless and deathless; it lives quietly within the folds of our heart, observes everything, and records each experience.

Remembering this simple analogy can help us when dealing with a painful ordeal, and can help guide us toward making sound decisions. When we stop at a dangerous intersection, it would be foolish to allow our car to decide which way to turn. We, the driver, must assess the best path to reach our destination safely. We can do that by listening to ourselves, being careful to note that the guidance is coming from a place of unconditional love rather than from one ruled by our ego. And if our headlights shine clean and bright, we might even be able to guide another soul who’s lost in the darkness of the night.

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