Perspective versus The Big Picture


I just had a car accident. I shouldn’t say just— as in minutes or even hours ago — but it seems so fresh, it’s hard to believe it didn’t just happen. Although the event occurred days ago, the few short seconds it took between feeling in control of a routine driving manoeuver and realizing my air bag had deployed has been replaying in my mind a lot in the days that followed.

The twisted metal, fragments of black bumper and loose brick from the building I hit became immediate evidence that I had survived something very ugly. That I was able to get out of my car on my own volition and wasn’t injured beyond a few scratches on my hand (I guess from the air bag blossoming so suddenly) was a minor miracle. That no other car or pedestrian was harmed was another reason to celebrate my good fortune. That the veteran policewoman that wrote up the report only issued one ticket (she could have cited me for an overdue license plate renewal) was another reason I should have counted myself lucky.

Bigger PictureThe handyman who came to board up the side of the building I hit responded to my body language by reminding me “Why do you think they’re called accidents?” The front of my car was badly damaged, but what I was doing to myself, on the inside, was even more barbed and brutal.

I couldn’t think of anything I was preoccupied with that may have interfered with me giving my full attention to what I had to do behind the wheel. I worried that I was hopelessly ungrounded and might be prone to other mishaps. I imagined people criticizing me for being a bad driver.

I was lucky I didn’t have serious injuries or had to deal with guilt over hurting anyone else. But all I seemed able to think about was some failure of mine.

The rest of the afternoon, I did the things you are supposed to do in such a situation. I filed an insurance claim. I purchased a sticker for my license plate renewal. I reserved a rental car for the next day. In the evening, I fell apart. How could I have been so …(fill in the blank with any range of vindictive expression)?

I called a friend in Sydney. She tried to help me put things in perspective.


Gain Perspective Exercise

“Take out a blank sheet of paper, and draw a dot,” she instructed. “Think of that dot as representing the accident.”

“Now draw a much larger circle,” she went on. In retrospect, she probably intended for me to have two circles of disparate diameters side by side, but for some unknown reason, I decided to surround my dot with the larger circle, which I later shaded in.

“This big circle can represent the entirety of your life. The accident is over,” she remarked without judgment. “It was real, but it is not the whole of your life.”

She went on to ask me questions about myself, how I made choices, how I treated others, when was the last time I pushed myself and tried something new. We concluded that I have acted bravely, tended to be generous and was often wise. She added that from what she could tell, I probably liked myself. I agreed. I am who I am because of conscious choices I’ve made.

She recommended wrapping a bubble of unconditional love around my dot and circle, advising me to love and forgive myself. Not in an airy-fairy sort of way, but to remember that anything that IS is part ofeverything that is.

Even temporarily, feeling so out of control is disorienting. Damaging physical property despite a general orientation to be careful is unsettling, but my life is more than an event. My character is more shining than it is dirty.

Being reminded to keep things in perspective is no small thing.

I address all of these things in Relationship Rescue Made Easy – which is not only about your partner, but about loving yourself unconditionally so that you can become your true self – the person, in your secret moments, what to be – and NOT settle for the status quo.




Diploma Life Coaching, Master NLP Practitioner, Avatar Wizard


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