It happened in slow motion. The car in front of me was making a left turn at the light. I eased around on the right side to go through. My mind was saying, “Oh, this is really close. Are you really doing this? OK… you’re doing it.” I felt the car run over the curb, and we heard a weird noise. I pulled over. Not one, but two flat tires! Immediately, I felt guilty. My mind berated me: “What were you thinking? Why did you do that?” I was worried that I had ruined our day. We were so close to the Dia-Beacon, and my driving mistake had caused a huge delay. Was I going to have to pay for the busted tires? Don’t tires cost like $300 each? My friends were calm, and they assured me it was going to be okay – but my head was full of guilt and shame.
We were in Cold Point, NY, at the corner of Main Street. I called for the tow truck, and they said that they would bring a rental car replacement. I worried about the cost, and even more about how stupid it was to try to get around that car in the first place. We went to sit on some grass next to the church in the beautiful shade, and ate lunch. Rebekah took a walk with her camera, and Jen took a nap.
I flipped open my notebook to write, and it opened to a little flyer that I taped on a page months ago when I saw Louise L. Hay speak. She gave out these autographed cards, and I taped it in there because it made me feel good. Her sweet face looked up from the page – but I never noticed that the card had something on the back until that moment. It flipped over in the breeze. There was an affirmation on the back that said “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this experience, only good will come. I am safe.” I repeated it out loud softly a few times. It made me feel better.
So many times, terrible things happen that turn out to be blessings. Releasing guilt is often a matter of changing perspective. If we can be willing to choose to think that life happens for us, rather than to us, we may experience relief. And it’s worth remembering what Billy Joel sang: “We’re only human. We’re supposed to make mistakes.” Guilt is a signal that we are being given a chance to believe that the world is not a punishing place, and that when you ask for things and reach for a better feeling or thought about a situation, miracles can happen.
I did some writing. I wrote to the universe asking for all the money I would need to pay for the tow and the charges. I wrote asking for peace of mind and to release my guilt. I wrote that I wanted to relax and not feel badly. I asked for a miracle.
Jen read the fine print in the rental agreement, and roadside assistance was a service they provided. When we returned the car later that night, we were only charged $40. There was a discount from the $80 we agreed to, and no mention of any other charges. My miracle came true. I was in disbelief. My guilt came back. Could I accept this answered prayer, believe that I deserved it, and be thankful for it?
What an opportunity to grow.