Driving west away from my office I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful sky. The problem is there are so many houses and trees my view is somewhat impeded.
The thought comes to me: “when I get to the top of the highway on-ramp I’ll have an unhindered view.” So I pull out my phone, roll down the window, and get the camera mode ready. I couldn’t wait to capture this spectacular sky.
The clover leaf on-ramp rises, the full horizon opens up and I take a few snaps. This is kind of dangerous driving a curve, readying to merge, while taking photos. The voice of sensibility. But I want an unobstructed image. One more…maybe past that road light. The longing for the perfect photo.
Wait for it!
It’s amazing how quickly our mind works. Complete thoughts flooded my mind in split seconds. “How am I going to explain this?” “Should I stop and look for it?” “Should I keep going because my phone has got to be toast?” “I’ll just keep going.” “I should stop and see.” “Maybe it survived.”
I saw my phone fall and bounce in my rear view mirror. The bounce and the separation of parts etched in my mind. I stopped. I laughed. I can’t believe this. Why on earth did I do this? What will possibly be left of it?
Walking back along the highway toward the parts I thought, You just don’t get to walk along the highway often. Duh, really? Only when you do something dumb like this. The bright yellow Golden State Warriors case lay in the middle of the lane. I waited as another car by.
This isn’t particularly smart walking on the highway. But I noticed the phone had slid off the lane on the safe side of the white traffic line. Jogging across the lane, I pick up the surprisingly intact device. The backing appears scratch free, but I feared looking at the front. When I turn it over, at first glance it looks unscathed. As I look closer there is a nice crunched area near the home button.
I push an activation button and the phone comes alive.
I can’t believe it. Two cars passed after I dropped the phone, and at least one ran over the case. The case is toast, but my phone survived. I laughed again. Gonna need to post this to Facebook.
But it made me think: there are some things we hold on too tightly too in life…but there are also things we don’t cling to tightly enough. Case in point, my phone.
What do we hold onto too tightly in life, that maybe, just maybe it might benefit us to loosen our grip of? I’m just not smart enough to come up with an amazing list so I collected some thoughts from people far more profound than me. This is what we came up with.
1. Being right all the time
2. Grudges and hurts
3. Our failures (thinking they define us…they don’t)
4. Our reputation (what others think of us)
5. Other’s opinions of us (they don’t tell the whole story of our life)
6. A perfect view of self (self-preservation, preserving a spotless reputation)
7. Money and Possessions (they are replaceable)
8. People (Some toxic relationships we need to just let go of)
9. People pleasing (always trying to make the people around you happy)
10. Control (the idea that we have control over much at all in life)
11. Controlling our kids (they are never really controllable anyway)
12. Perception (that my view of the world is the only right one)
13. What I’m feeling at this very moment is not indicative of my life as a whole
14. Cultural baggage or values (if they don’t benefit others or if they bring harm to others)
15. Attachments (nothing should be master over us, or we live enslaved to it)
16. Our wants (needing something so badly that it impacts relationships negatively, or lead to addictions)
17. Ways we have learned to protect ourselves (even if they don’t serve us well or if they keep us from loving others well)
18. Our rights (entitlements, think the world owes us something)
19. Our appearance (thinking our significance is based primarily on how we appear to the world)
20. Desire for perfect security
21. A fairy-tale life (a life without problems)
There are also things we don’t hold to tightly enough. Said another way, perhaps there are things we don’t pay enough attention to that we need to cling more tightly to:
19. Embracing we are people in process
Perhaps the list is too long to ingest. But pick one item from each list that resonates with you and ponder letting go or embracing more fully. We are all people in process, and because of that our lives are messy. It is somehow freeing to admit we are messy and need help.
There is a great song that talks about loosening our grip on the things we hold so tightly. Tenth Avenue North’s song Control (Somehow You Want me) speaks poignantly to almost all these points. Maybe it might resonate with you as it did with me.
I hope your Uh-Oh! moments will lead you to smile and laugh. I had to laugh as the phone flew out of my hands onto the highway. What am I losing? Well, it’s just a phone. But actually I’m learning much more from this event than to not hold your phone outside a moving vehicle. I’m learning that sometimes letting go of things I think are important is a good thing.
Wandering on Purpose!