I’m Not Innocent I Tell Ya’!

by Leslie Sann

You can create, promote, or allow everything in your life. Everything. That’s both the good news and the bad news.~ John-Roger 

As I was driving back home one afternoon, a giant-sized, beaten-up red truck aggressively gunned its engines attempting to bully its way into my lane instead of patiently dropping back. For whatever reason, I chose not to let him in. I just said, “No,” assuming he would ease in behind me as is the protocol for merging lanes.

That was the split-second choice that I made.

As hindsight is 20/20, perhaps that choice was an “oops.”

The now irate driver pulled behind me and flipped me the bird. Well, two birds, in fact. One off of each hand. I guess he was doubly mad.

Calm and unconcerned, allowing his upset to harmlessly pass on through me, I sent a blessing of peace his way, as I perceived an angry man attempting to intimidate me. I asked for a buffer of protection behind me in case he was so worked up that he tried to ram me.

A mile or so later I glanced in the rear-view mirror to discover that he was still flipping me off. My assumption that he would calm down was an obvious error.

Hmmm, now I wondered if he was tailing me with a hateful purpose.

I had the thought to not go home, and instead to head down the road before my usual turn-off, wondering if he was following me. If he did then I was not returning home. But perhaps it was all in my imagination. I didn’t know for sure so I decided to check it out.

I realized the road I meant to take has a turn lane so he would be alerted to my intent. Suddenly, like in a movie, I quickly made a right down the next available road. Either my sudden movement triggered him into pursuit or that was his intention all along. Dunno. Doesn’t matter. He was now following me.

I decided to drive over to the fire department. Turning my head to the right as I slowed to a stop at the next corner, my grateful eyes upon flashing lights. A cop had pulled someone over. Wow. I called this encounter “grace” as I was on back-country roads usually left unpatrolled.

I nimbly U-turned and parked in front of the officer. I stepped out of the car until he noticed me, then climbed back in.

My nemesis, the red truck, then emerged from the road that I had been on, but upon seeing the cop car, backed up and made a hasty retreat.

When the policeman came over to my car I briefly related what had occurred. He said he would see if he could track down the truck. He then assured me that it was safe for me to go home.

It would be easy to tell this story as a victim, but that version would not be the truth. Upon reflection, it is clear that I was unthinkingly culpable. Yes, the guy was a nut case, but I’m the one who provoked him. What was I trying to prove?

How many situations have you set up in your life and then cried victim when if you considered the course of events you could see how you contributed? For me there is a sense of freedom and power when I take responsibility for my creations. I set myself up to learn how to do better next time. Trust me, even if I’m in a “New York state-of-mind,” I will let red trucks with loud gunning engines get in front of me in the future. I prefer not to be stupid twice.

What about you?