I will never forget my first new car. Well, practically speaking, I claimed my husband’s brand new Isuzu truck a few months after he bought it. What can I say? I married a goodhearted man.
The first thing I did after “taking ownership” was to name her: MONSTER TRUCK. Needless to say, I ended up in a few “tight situations” with Monster Truck. I got stuck in sand dunes at Sardinia Bay beach and had to be towed out. I drove into a huge ditch at the side of the road and had to be towed out.
Monster Truck always found a way to go around traffic jams and never had any trouble to find parking spots… She flew over pavements and any other form of obstacle, removed a few poles in parking areas and the list goes on and on.
Her name says it all.
Like all things in life there came a time when her name became the problem.
My needs changed.
All of a sudden Monster Truck was just too strong, too big, used too much fuel and became too expensive to fix. I decided to sell her. I must admit, when I handed the keys over to the new owner I threw my arms over her bonnet and cried.
My kids felt extremely embarrassed because all of this happened in the parking lot of a shopping centre in town and the sight of a sobbing woman hugging the bonnet of an Isuzu truck is not a familiar scene in our part of the world. The slightly uneasy new owner tried to comfort me with the promise of taking good care of her. So we parted.
My next car was the exact opposite of Monster Truck – very trendy, small, fuel efficient and beautiful. I took one look at her, fell in love and named her SUZ BABE. Oh boy, she was a babe. She was just so with-it; a delight for the eye. I treated her like a princess. I constantly cleaned her dirt. As you know, a babe comes with an certain image. She had to shine and show the world her spotless body. She didn’t mind to be stuck in traffic because she offered all sorts of entertainment and comfort. The ride was always enjoyable.
Suz Babe served me well, until my needs changed.
My kids entered a phase where they had to take big bulky book- and sports bags to school. I took on the role of taxi mom and my job description included transporting my children and their friends. Suz babe was not made for this. She was ideal for a single minimalist and lacked the extra space. It also became a schlep to keep her in an immaculate condition. The babe phase became unpractical.
I am now very content with Mrs John. Strange name? Let me explain. I took my husband on a surprise trip to Zanzibar for his 50th birthday. The waiter at our favourite restaurant had trouble pronouncing my name and decided to greet us daily as Mr John and Mrs John. I grew fond of this name. Mrs John is very spacious, comfortable, fuel efficient, durable, not new and yet she offers timeless style. She currently serves all my needs.
I share this trip down automobile-lane to illustrate a point.
We attract different things and people in different stages in our lives. The greatest life form, the human body, confirms this. My body changed radically since the age of 6 up to this point. To be honest it feels as if I lived in many bodies because the shape and size changed and evolved so much over time. I once bought size 5 shoes. I don’t have feet that fits into size 5 shoes anymore.
As change takes place we are naturally attracted to different things. The American author and Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr once mentioned in a talk that he will never get a body tattoo for the reason that this will cause him to permanently, not only commit to one phase of his life, but also end up defending it.
One of the roles of the ego mind is to convince us to commit to and defend a permanently fixed identity. The ego mind struggles to flow and adapt to change as it naturally takes place in and around us. One of the reasons for this is the lack of (perceived) control.
So many people end up clinging to a Monster Truck for far too long. We hang on to a memory; the excitement, joy and fulfillment it once brought us but without that real experience in the current moment. We think by hanging on, we will get the fullness of the experience back. We won’t. The shoe does not fit anymore. The style is outdated. Take an honest look at your feet. You grew into a bigger size.
One of the qualities of growth is it’s expansive nature. My needs around a vehicle expanded and at the same time simplified as I matured into a “very spacious, comfortable, fuel efficient, durable, not new yet timeless and stylish 48 year old lady”. I don’t rush through life anymore and as a result I have become less aware of traffic jams.
The shortcut skills of monster truck and the distracting entertainment of Suz Babe became obsolete.
Mrs John is a perfect fit.
I will end with an invitation to step into your own shoes and take full responsibility for your life today.