Before I get to the life lessons (and gosh darn, there are always some life lessons, right?!), let me give you a very brief recap of the events that preceded the theft to create the “perfect storm” on this particular night. And just so you know, when my husband relays the story, as he did to a group over the weekend, somehow we all end up howling with laughter.
At my insistence earlier that evening, as we headed out to a baseball game and dinner with friends, we decided to change cars at the last minute so that we could enjoy top-down SOULBUG instead. My husband already had keys to other car in his hand outside, and we placed them in the drink holder once inside the other car. (For the record, the night ended up being rather chilly, and I was in a sundress freezing my ass off wishing that we had stuck with the original car.)
We returned home that night and pulled into our detached garage on an alley. Per usual, we left the top down in the garage, and we headed inside. (The inner door of the garage in our fenced in yard always remains unlocked so that family members can be in and out of the garage at all times with ease.) Ruh-Roh!
In the middle of the night, three of the four of us were “randomly” awake at 2:00 am searching for water and using the bathroom, a total rarity.
Our oldest daughter woke us up with an early morning phone call that she was back in the United States and had landed safely at JFK after a month in Thailand.
I rose, shuffled outside to get the paper and realized quickly that something was amiss. Suddenly, I knew that our car was gone. I woke my husband. We ran to the garage where we saw that our bug had been rummaged through with stuff strewn around the inside. Then, it DAWNED — we left the keys to our other car in the bug. We looked up to see front gate open. And, Bingo, a new reality clicked into place.
Now for the LIFE LESSONS:
1) Feeling violated is hard. No matter how much we may understand and deeply feel the truth of Oneness and Soul to Soul, from a human perspective, boundaries are necessary and very important. The key is to be aware of both the micro lens and the macro lens simultaneously. This creates a balance of Individuation and Oneness — a blend of self-love and compassion — that allows for greater presence and awakened awareness.
2) For a car worth more than you can afford to lose, comprehensive insurance is a good choice. Interestingly, about four months before this event, with a new teen driver and high rates, we had switched car insurance companies to save money. In that process, I (not my husband) had decided to take comprehension off of our cars thinking that we had a high deductible, we could easily afford to fix a broken windshield if one should occur, and we would NEVER have a stolen car living in such a wonderful neighborhood. (It was definitely a red-faced bummer when I re-checked our insurance papers that morning to confirm for my husband what I already knew — that we were not insured for this type of loss. Ouch!
3) We quickly noted that WE had made many choices that created an opening for this type of violation. This does not mean that we deserved it, but on some level, we called it forth from the sea of infinite possibilities. We both felt some shame in being so “foolish” and realized that much of the recovery work would be our own self-forgiveness.
4) “So this is what it feels like” is one of the most expansive aspects of being human. We can utilize it fully to raise consciously compassion and empathy within our own heart. Direct experience is invaluable in this regard.
5) “How about that?!” is a wonderful way to become more neutral at the natural ups and downs of life. I use it all the time. I feel it often. And yet, no matter how much we embrace this truth, as human beings, it often takes an adjustment period to shift realities when a disappointment, a major inconvenience or a great devastation occurs. In other words, we can hold both perspectives in our knowing, but the human part of us does not often want to surrender more comfortable realities immediately. Notice yourself resisting and go easy on yourself. Acceptance comes, hopefully sooner than later.
6) Compassionate Capitalism is STILL a top-priority for me. Many people in this world are desperate. There is great disparity between the haves and the have-nots. While it is not the right of anyone to take from another without permission, I can understand deeply the rage and desperation that creates the desire to do so. This experience did not create bitterness in my heart, but rather increased my desire to speak out on greater economic equality for all. Interestingly, it opened the door for me to contemplate more ways that I can serve…
7) APPRECIATION is an immediate and tremendous tool for, well, anything and everything that ails us. We looked around at all of our bountiful blessings with new eyes. Our beautiful daughter was returning safely to us on that very day after a life-changing experience in Thailand. Gratitude abounded even as the possible financial loss sunk in. (When all was said and done, the loss of that car plus the cost to replace, would be more than one of our soon-to-be college students’ yearly tuitions.) Again, Ouch!
8) A little more caution with Jazz Hands, not fear and paranoia, can be a good thing! No more doors left unlocked, and new keypad locks on our garage and backdoor have made us feel more responsible and less vulnerable to another “perfect storm” situation.
9) When we are suddenly acutely aware through loss what a gift something actually was, damn do we begin to see it everywhere. I cannot tell you how many exact replicas of our stolen car we saw on the road in the two weeks before she was found, eliciting within us exclamations of, “Yep, she was a wonderful little car. And yep, how blessed we were to afford her.”
10) EVERY life is going to have its ups and downs. Just because we become more self-aware — privy to the larger perspective of Individuation/Oneness, and maybe even begin to live more from the blended-being vantage point — does not mean that we become immune to human challenges. There is always more personal growth to be had. Always! That work may lessen somewhat as far as the difficulty of the surrender, but it is never done. We would not be here, right here, right now if it were otherwise.
Since this is a long one due to the recap of what occurred, I will end it here. And just to let you know, we did receive a call from the detective exactly two weeks after the event letting us know that our car had been located after being left on the side of the road about 12 miles from our house. We got her back with very minimal damage, and after a good detail, we drive her with more love, care and appreciation than ever before.
Warmth and LOVE,
And, always, THANK YOU for reading!
A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer, award-winning author, and teacher specializing in parenting, conscious relationships, authentic living and spiritual development. Her book Soul to Soul Parenting won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award. Connect with Annie on Facebook and engage with her on Twitter @annieburnside