Emotional Health

I’ve always had this theory that people drive the way they think. I developed this after observing two people:

The first was my Dad who drove incredibly slow and seemed oblivious to the impact it had on drivers on the road with him. People thought it was because of his age but he drove that way even when he was younger. His thought process mirrored the driving—he took a lot of time to think about and articulate ideas and didn’t care if he was holding things up. He would let you know his thoughts when he was good and ready. As an impatient young child living in his house, this habit drove me a little bit crazy.

The second person who inspired this theory was a manager I worked with years ago. One day we went to lunch and, on the harrowing drive to the restaurant, she tailgated every car that had the misfortune of being in front of us. As I reflected on this, I realized that in the office she did her own form of tailgating —she was an impossible micro-manager who put fear into the hearts of her staff.

I’ve started to refine this idea even further because I now understand that the way we drive is also an indication of our spiritual and emotional health. This may have been inspired by the following story someone sent me in an email:

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and coffee.

Mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.
He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, ”I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated fish emblem on the trunk; naturally…

I assumed you had stolen the car.”

The Law of Attraction says that you get more of what you focus on. If you’re not sure about where your focus is, don’t look to affirmations you are praying, bumper stickers you are displaying or positive words you are saying. Too often they are indicators of how you’d like to be or how you’d like others to think you are. Look instead to how you are responding to everyday situations.

It doesn’t take much personal fortitude to behave in church or temple. But in the midst of traffic, when everything seems to be going wrong and you are late and stressed to the limit, that’s when you can see the state of your spiritual and emotional health.

Here’s the fun part. If you discover that you are not where you want to be, an easy way to quickly turn it around is to shift your focus.

Look, the vast majority of drivers on the road are skilled and courteous. If, however, you spend all your time focused on the few who are not, then your driving experience is going to be very stressful (and you’ll attract more poor drivers around you.)

Try this: for the next week, decide what kind of person you want to be all the time, even while behind the wheel of your car. Then do whatever is necessary to be that person even when no one is looking. You’ll soon discover that your health, spiritual and emotional has improved considerably, both behind the wheel and everywhere else. And you will be bowled over by what you start to attract.

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