Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the backseat-driving babe

There's a backseat-driving babe in me! She popped out yesterday on the way home from work. In fact, she seems to make these appearances on a regular basis. I think that she believes she is a better driver than most people she rides with, but she doesn't want anyone to know that she feels that way!

It was pretty obvious yesterday. My honey was driving me home after work (since we're down to one car, he is doing a lot of running), and we were coming up to a stoplight. I looked ahead and saw the bumper-to-bumper traffic, and my first thought was that we should turn left since the arrow was green, and we could then avoid all the traffic. Bam! Out popped the backseat-driving babe, pointing directions, and spitting out orders before she even finished her swallow of water!

I realized how it must have sounded when my honey looked at me with his eyes wide open with amazement. I reeled the little traffic tyrant back inside. "Down, girl!" I thought. I had to admit to him what he already must know: that doggone backseat-driver babe needs an attitude adjustment. She needs to let the driver drive and have some faith that it will all be okay. So what if a making a particular left turn or taking another street would get us there faster. If it takes a little longer to get there, isn't the decreased stress and the improved relationship worth it?

Isn't that the way it often is? We think that we have the answers for everyone else's problems. The truth is that each person needs to find them for him or herself. My solutions for another's situation do not always take into account their feelings, needs, or experiences. I want to give them a quick fix, so I don't have to experience the uncertainty of waiting for them to process their experiences.

But I know that the decisions we make out of a gut-level knowing are the ones that will stick. If I make a particular decision just to make one person happy, the decision is always subject to change if someone else is unhappy with it. If I make a decision based on unquestionable truth that I am sure of, I am so much more likely to stick with that decision because I have confidence in it. So if that little traffic tyrant in me simply allows these drivers to learn from the decisions they make, they will ultimately become better drivers, and ms. backseat-driver babe can relax and enjoy the ride.

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