In the last blog I talked about us trying to control situations. In this blog I am addressing the situation which occurs when other people try to control us.
There are subtle forms of control – which can even be pleasant and agreeable. Then there is the form of control which is unpleasant to the point of irritating. I came across such a form of control while driving home from town one day. You most probably have experienced similar situations in your driving career.
I was driving on a county road with no traffic except for me and one other car. The other car had decided that my tailpipe was a very attractive feature and wanted to keep close to it. This makes me very uncomfortable on any road. This particular road can have cows, sheep, dogs and people appear out of nowhere – requiring immediate action. With the car attached behind me I definitely felt as if he was trying to control my speed to satisfy his mood and need for speed. When pressured in this way I have been known to slow down to a crawl to give the car behind me the opportunity to overtake me and go at their own rate. In this case he did not take the invitation but kept up his fascination with my tailpipe.
This gave me even more time to think and get irritated. But then I took a deep breath looked at the lovely forest I was driving by and thought to myself about the situation.
He wanted to control my speed and no doubt was irritated by it. He may even have thought at some level that I was trying to control his speed! Who was controlling who?
I decided the only way to release the tension and feel free of being pressured into a higher speed was to let go. To let him be there. By intentionally going slowly, I was also being controlled by him.
So, I concentrated on the road and the scenery and let him do what he felt he needed to do. As so often happens when you let go the situation disappears. He then passed me.
We set up lessons for ourselves to learn from – everything is a learning experience and so nothing is ever lost. I may still practice with that experience for a while longer till I get it down. But practice makes perfect which means the other driver is perfect for my need to practice.
Mind you, a friend of mine says she always hits the breaks lightly under those circumstances and the driver behind usually gets the message. A practical approach. Of course to be carried out under the right circumstances.