Invitation #9 – Living In The Now: Four Steps to Choosing Peace On The Road
Chapter 8: Being In The Now
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
There are four steps that I have used and still use to obtain peace on the road. They are as follows:
- Learn to differentiate between the spiritual being driving and the action of cutting you off.
- Look at each driver on the road as the child of God and visualize someone you know, trust and love. I visualize Jesus, especially when I need His assistance with those who cut me off or drive recklessly.
- Pray for the safety and protection of every driver who cuts you off or is driving recklessly.
- Be a positive example on the road.
The first step toward choosing peace on the road is to learn to differentiate between the spiritual being driving and the action of cutting you off. We have all had bad days, or at least days we perceived as bad. We have all been late for a meeting, a date or work. We have all had plenty of excuses for not driving as carefully as we could every day. Having said this, would we like our lifetime to be judged based on one driving mistake, one careless act? Well, that is what we do when we call someone a jerk (or worse) for cutting us off. We judge that person’s entire life by that one moment in time. We see this person as someone who has always been a jerk and will probably die a jerk. Not only do we punish this person for this one act, but we equally punish ourselves through our loss of peace. Little do we know what kind of day or week this person has had or what kind of situation that individual is currently experiencing.
For all we know this person could be a great person who just happened to make an error in judgment while driving. We are always in the right place, at the right time. Thus, this person is offering us a gift, and this gift is the opportunity to remember and practice our perfection through the act of choosing peace on the road. As Plato once said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
What a wonderful gift it is to be able to choose peace in such a situation. This child of God who has crossed our path is allowing us the opportunity to practice choosing peace. We have been taught the habit of choosing anger, and judging our brother or sister. This is a habit that will probably take time and practice to correct. Therefore, every opportunity that a brother or sister offers us is no more or no less than a beautiful gift. This individual is offering us the practice of choosing peace. There will come a time when we will no longer need to practice choosing peace, for we will be at peace and live in peace. Until that day comes, thank our brothers and sisters for their offerings, participation and assistance.
We, and our brothers and sisters, are the extension of God’s love in action. When we see that in our brothers and sisters, we feel it. Every action, reaction and situation is an opportunity to remember this. There will come a day when instead of judging our brothers and sisters, we will thank them. There will come a day when, instead of reacting with anger, we will react with understanding. And there will come a day where, instead of seeing an error, we will see and meet the opportunity. That day is coming, for you have been led to this passage and in your heart you sense its truth. We have tried it our egos’ way long enough. We have tried judging our brothers and sisters. We have tried anger and seen error. Now our hearts remind us that there is another way of looking at this. There is another way of reacting. There is a way to find peace in our brother or sister’s action. There is a way to find peace in our reactions. There is a way indeed.
The second step toward choosing peace on the road is to look at each driver as a child of God and visualize someone you know, trust, respect and love. I visualize Jesus driving certain cars on the road, especially the ones that cut me off or drive recklessly. At first, you might feel a little strange doing this but this might assist you in getting past the illusion that the spiritual being who just cut you off is a stranger. For how could you ever truly be mad at God’s child? There is nothing strange about a child of God, for you and he are one. You are a child of God; the stranger is a child of God. Both of you are part of the extension of God’s love in action. Both of you have chosen this path, a path that will allow each of you to choose heaven or hell, peace or anxiety, forgiveness or judgment. Forgive his error and you will be released. Choose not to forgive, and you will add the weight of judgment to your heart.
To me, Jesus was and is a great teacher. He is the definition of love in action. In my heart, I know that He would want me to feel the same way about all my brothers and sisters. He would want me to see His perfection in everyone. He would want me to forgive and love my brothers and sisters no matter what, and to treat all my brothers and sisters as I would treat Him, and so I do. To me, Jesus is a child of God, and we are children of God. There is no difference between any of us, except for the fact that Jesus has remembered his perfection and we are in the process of remembering ours.
See who you will in the other car, but know this: that person is a mirror image of you. There is nothing that you wish for that person that you do not experience yourself. If you are angry with him, you will feel it within yourself. If you forgive, understand and have compassion for him, you will also feel that within. There is nothing you do to another that you don’t do to yourself. You know this to be true because you have felt your own anger. Regardless of where and to whom you distribute it, you have felt its consequences.
The next time you become angry with another driver, feel what that does to you, not only to your outer self but also to your inner self. Feel the heavy fog roll through your heart, feel its denseness. Feel the tension in your body, the anxiety. Then listen to the sadness in your soul. Hear it for the first time asking you this one simple question: Why would anyone in their right mind do something like this to themselves over and over again? Ask yourself: “What am I doing to myself? What am I accomplishing?” Then, as the fog dissipates and the light begins to shine through, say this: “I simply choose not to do this to myself any longer! There is another way I can react. I will now choose to see God’s child in my brother and sister!”
The third step toward choosing peace on the road is to pray for every driver who cuts you off or is driving recklessly. Replace the angry reaction that has brought you nothing but pain and sadness – with a prayer. Let that prayer come directly from your heart. Reach into your heart and pray that the individual gets home safely, that he or she has a great day, and that his or her kids and family are showered with love. With all your soul, pray for God to send angels to escort him or her home. Pray that they touch his or her heart so he or she might think of others and slow down. Pray that anything that is bothering him or her will be washed away through God’s mercy. Do this for him or her and you will be set free. You will feel all that you have asked for them. What you will receive in return is a peace that will fill your drive anywhere you go.
The fourth step toward choosing peace on the road is to be a positive example for those on the road. It feels good and peaceful being a positive example, whether in life or on the road – there is no difference.
This material can be found in the book - You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy.
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