Monday, June 27, 2011

Back Up A Bit, And Try Going This Way.

Many years ago, I had walked down to the corner store after a snowstorm. The city in which I lived was not well prepared for snow, and neither were most of the inhabitants. When I went into the store, there was a small car parked on the street, revving madly, trying to pull out of a parking spot, and making no progress. As I exited the store, I saw it was still there, and went over to knock on the driver's window. The driver rolled down her window, and looked up at me questioningly.

I said, "You might have more luck if you shut it off, get out, and kick away the big ridge of snow in front of the front tires, then when you try again,  give it a tiny bit of gas, pull out very slowly. Or back up a bit, and try going this way - follow the ruts made by other drivers, rather than attempt to push through the mounds of snow."

She swore viciously at me, rolled her window back up and continued to rev the car like a crazy woman. I still hear it roaring away as I walked back up the block to my house. She was furious, she was determined, she was going to make that car do what she wanted it to do.

I like to remember that lady, whenever I'm engaged in that same lunatic stubborness myself.

Our neighbour's small friendly dog tried to come for a visit this weekend. He tried pushing against the rather wobbly wire fence, and being old and tired, it gave a bit. He then backed up, put his head down, charged at it, and rammed it with his forehead.

It moved forward a bit, then springing back, flung him smartly backwards, unhurt. He gazed about him, apparently confused - what was he doing still on this side of the fence? 

The neighbour and I grinned at each other, and he asked, "What was that phrase you used before, when we were discussing canine reasoning?"

I replied, "Dog-brain is a very strange place."

My husband commented from the deck, "At least he only tried that one time - I know people who would be doing that so many times, they'd have the design from the fence permanently engraved in their forehead."

I laughed, thinking of the times that I've been engaged in my own ramming attempts. How many times did my first sponsor suggest that I back up a bit and try going a different way? I couldn't hear her. I mistook my obstinacy for determination. I rationalised my inability to compromise. I defended my pigheadedness inflexibility.

The end result was the same as it was for our neighbour's lovely little dog. Didn't matter how many times I rammed that sucker, I was always landing on the same side of the fence at which I'd started.

In Al-Anon, the practise of the first 4 Steps allowed me to "Back up a bit, and try going this way." So began the miracles of positive change in my life.
I'm grateful. I enjoy the reminders.

1 comment:

  1. I can just picture the car going no where and the ramming dog. Good visual reminders for me. Thanks!