On my Birthday, the Gift of Reality

Ever argue with reality? As in: “This shouldn’t be happening!” or “You can’t do this to me!”

I have—too often. Life has handed me experiences—each one a valuable lesson, an education in learning to embrace what is. Sometimes, I resist. Resistance often prolongs my own suffering and stress.

Last November, on a drive into San Francisco to celebrate my birthday, traffic turned to a game of stop-and-go near the exit to Berkeley. I reduced my speed further, keeping extra room in front of my car, proceeding carefully. Relaxed, and two hours ahead of schedule, I was looking forward to dinner with writer friends at a little French restaurant in the City. Suddenly traffic screeched to halt. The man behind me slammed into my car. Boom!

A truck slammed into the car behind me. Boom!

Hit twice in seconds.

“NO!” I yelled.

Stunned, I sat for a moment. Then laughter poured out of me.

Why did I think my word was so powerful it could reverse reality?

I flipped on my turn signal and began the process of crossing five lanes of commute traffic, sending blessings to each person who allowed me into their lane. From the side of the road, I called 9-1-1, keeping my eye on the other two vehicles still sitting in traffic so I could accurately describe each one.

Did I want to be in a car accident on my birthday? No. But it happened, so why argue with reality? In the end, I was uninjured (although a bit shook up) and my car was driveable. Late to my birthday dinner, I cherished the time left with friends along with my gift from the universe: a reminder to embrace what is.

©Joey Garcia

Joey Garcia coaches teens and adults who are ready for more freedom and joy in their lives. Interested in becoming a client or having Joey speak or lead a training program at your conference or company? Contact her via the form on this website.

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