I was backing out of my parking stall at 3:17 am on Christmas Eve morning when I heard a strange beeping noise followed by a very odd light popping up on my car’s dashboard.
With only a small nap under my belt and already running a little bit late, I fell back on what my days in IT consulting taught me to do; I turned the car off, waited 30 seconds and then fired her up again.
The light was back on and the weird beep happened a second time.
Adrenaline ran through my body and random scenes of me on the side of Highway 2 in -20 degrees celsius watching my car go up in flames after I barely escape with my purse and cell phone flashed before my eyes.
- What can I say? *shrug* Drama adds flavor to life.
Rummaging through the owner’s manual to figure out what in the world the orange circle with little lines around it meant, I learned that my brakes needed servicing. Death by car fire was no longer imminent, I was due to be in America in just a few hours, and small nieces were awaiting my arrival …
To brake or not to brake, that was the question.
Airport Christmas lineups were looming, I was already later than I wanted to be, I had experienced no issues braking while driving Lucie previously (yes, I named my very adorable car) and the light for service just came on.
Being the highly practical and adventure embracing woman that I am, I drove the airport and didn’t really give it much more thought until I came back home.
Oh shoot! That darned light. Lucie, what am I going to do with you?
Yesterday I got the news about the light – sensor problem. Two options were presented: enjoy the glowing orange light or pay more than a few hundred dollars to make it go away. An oil change and a carwash later, Lucie and I were on our way with the little orange light happily beaming up at me.
Did you know that humans come equipped with warning lights and sensors?
They are called feelings.
If you are alive, you are constantly experiencing feelings – what you do with them is what matters.
Some feelings are constant, like the brake sensor light on Lucie. Fear is a regular and consistent feeling for most of us, whether or not we check the fear and what we do with it is what makes all the difference in the world.
- Feeling fear is fine, living fearful is not.
When your indicator lights come on – happy, sad, angry, lonely, scared, overwhelmed, apathetic, to name a few – don’t just keep driving, refer to your owner’s manual and see what they mean.
This can be as simple or as complex as having a conversation with yourself. Start here –> “Wow. I feel so insecure and lost, tentative about everything, what’s that about?”
Find your answers, grab what you need, make necessary course adjustments and get going.
Going through life without dealing with your indicator lights is fine until it isn’t; simple as that. If you live without taking note of all your indicator lights, it will seem as though without warning things start to blow up and you might only escape with your purse and cell phone in hand as you watch your car go up in flames while you shiver on the side of the road in the middle of the night when it is -20 degrees celsius.
Knowing what your feelings are telling you helps you live an authentic and fulfilling life. I don’t know about you, but being with people who know who they are and embrace it are an amazing and beautiful gift to the world.
There are a whole lot of ‘Lucie Brake Light’ emotions in life, figure those out and keep driving. Now, when the oil light and the check engine light come on, pull over, turn the car off and flag down help; whatever you do, don’t keep going.
Feelings are what they are, not bad or good, simply information and they bring color, depth and grace to life – they help you LIVE. Take your feelings with you on the journey of life, but for goodness sake, DO NOT LET THEM DRIVE, that is your job. Let your feelings hold the map, ask questions and point out the scenery along the way, but never hand them the keys.
- Allow yourself to be with your emotions; as you go travel through your feelings you will find a fuller, richer, and deeper life waiting to be lived.
Grab all of life, even the hard, scary and painful feelings, because when you learn to go through those when they come you will be given the gift of ease, confidence and wholeness in another season.