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Getting over the speed bumps of life

By: Maggie Buck, Foothill Center for Spiritual Living
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Life is like speed bumps. Speed bumps can show up anywhere, any time, and sometimes without warning. Sometimes we are warned by a sign along the road and other times these bumps just seen to appear out of nowhere. You know, the kind of speed bumps where you’re going along and everything is going great and then … WHACK! Your chin hits the steering wheel; you bite your tongue. Not only do you find yourself in pain, but you’re left wondering, “What just happened?” We ask questions and we want answers as to why life is against us —and whose idea was it anyway to put speed bumps there? What’s the purpose? We say to ourselves things like, “Speed bumps are for people going too fast, I’m a good person … how come I got stopped?” I recently began to ponder this question. I questioned why people react so differently to the bumps of life. What was the difference? Suddenly the answer came ... shock absorbers! We develop shock absorbers by developing our spiritual muscles using prayer, meditation, contemplation, study, and affirmations. These all contribute to our ability and strength when life’s events or circumstances change drastically. When speed bumps show up, we are reminded that we are well equipped with spiritual shock absorbers. The bumps are not placed there just for our undoing. Events just happen. Life is always changing. And — it is our inner spiritual life that is built to absorb these shocks. We are always at choice. We get to choose how smooth our ride will be. Life isn’t out to get us. Being part of a spiritual community supports the development of our inner shock absorbers. So when the bumps of life hit— and they will—remember, it doesn’t matter how the experience comes to us; we are in charge of our attitude toward life’s changing circumstances. When the speed bumps come up, we have two options. We can be stopped by the events of life and give up — allowing the speed bump to take us off course. We can keep yelling at the bump and yelling at life, in hopes that we can change the event. Or we can pick ourselves up, accept that the event stopped us — but only temporarily — and move on, knowing that so much more of the adventure of life is waiting for us to experience. Yes, there will be bumps and there will be a lot more wonderful parts of life waiting for each of us. The adventure calls. Will you answer?