My heart pounded at the sight of swirling lights in my rear view mirror. I had pushed a yellow light then realized there was a policeman directly behind me. Terrified he was going to pull me over, I quickly turned into a parking lot—right in front of a pedestrian. That’s when the lights came on.
I knew better than to turn in front of the pedestrian but thought there was enough room, so I swung wide to avoid him. Apprehension at the thought of being pulled over blinded my judgment. Had I not turned to avoid the policeman in the first place, he never would have stopped me. My foolish action created that which I’d feared.
What a wake up call. The yellow light, the policeman, and the pedestrian spoke volumes to my heart. I needed to slow down and stop pushing so hard. With so many irons in the fire I was starting to burn myself, and could potentially hurt others in the process.
When I’m pushing myself beyond what I can physically or emotionally handle, I lose sight of what’s right in front of me. I get so caught up with details and deadlines that I fail to notice how haphazardly I’m operating—like pushing the yellow light instead of stopping; cutting myself while frantically chopping vegetables; tripping over the dog who wants a little attention; or choosing a glass of wine instead of doing yoga to relax at night (the wine keeps me up, but the yoga makes for peaceful slumber). When I’m emotionally shut down, I tend to direct others as if they are pawns on a chessboard, not my friends and family.
I’m happy to report the policeman left me with a stern warning and not a ticket. The trauma of being pulled over made me aware of how fragile my emotional state was, and how I needed to stop everything and reprioritize. If I continued in the same mode of being there were going to be consequences.
I changed my attitude and approach to life. I started accepting help when others volunteered, and stopped volunteering for everything that needed to be done. I’m less self sufficient and capable than I thought. Now I turn down work when I need rest, and I rest when I feel overworked instead of trying to push through. My new mantra is: “There is always enough time”.
God speaks to us in mysterious ways—sometimes through circumstances. I heard His voice loud and clear that day. Heeding the warning has made my life more livable, and me more easy to live with (just ask my husband).
Superwoman I am not—nor do I desire to be. I’m just glad I finally took the suit off.