12 June 2017

Learning to Stay in My Own Lane

When I first learned to drive I was horrible. Like to the degree I didn't get my license until I was well into age 17.

One of the scariest things for my was learning how to correctly merge into traffic on the freeway. I would tense up and have a severe death grip on the steering wheel. It took awhile to learn I should never hit the brakes while doing so and who had the right of way.

I was learning how to safely get into a lane while not killing myself or another driver. This is similar to how I am learning to stay in my own lane when it comes to living my life.

Over the last few years, my counselor has helped me learn how to stay in my own lane. I have discovered it is very easy for me to look at other people and wish I had what they have. You name it, I've probably felt insecure about it at some point. 

I start wishing I had that "thing" or allowing myself to feel less than because I don't. Or if I am really living up the pity party, I whine to God saying I deserve to have this to or when is it my turn for this particular experience.
Thankfully, I have people who call me out on that crazy nonsense. Because duh, that is not how God works.

It is like the 17 year old version of crazy Patty driving or merging on the freeway. I get distracted, start swerving, and possibly get myself into to trouble. When I get distracted driving, it throws me off and makes me more anxious.

It is the same exact thing in life. My job is to stay in my lane; accept and learn from it. Just like lanes of traffic they change; you merge in and out or the scenery will look different from time to time. 
The current lane I am in right now is not necessarily permanent or forever. 
It's just the right now for Patty.

I don't want to live my life wishing for the things I want and don't have right now. I am really trying to use "the right now" to stay humble and teachable.

It is more than just acceptance or contentment with the current season of life.
Staying in my own lane helps me find the beauty and gratitude for life right now even if it is not exactly the way I want it.
But wait since when is life exactly how we want it? ;)

I drive an old, rusty 99 white Lincoln aka the big white boat. Honestly I hate my car, especially when I see friends or family members who have nicer, cooler cars. But right now my car is paid off. 

And driving this piece of crap is what I have to do to get rid of that nasty college debt. 
The sacrifice now will pay off even more in the future when all my loans are gone.

Thankfully over the last 10ish years my driving (and merging) has gotten much better. I no longer break into cold sweats approaching the entrance ramp. And my counselor has to remind me less when we meet about staying in my own lane.

When I have hiccups or moments of insecurity, I try and catch myself and tell myself, "just stay in your own lane Patty. Just stay in YOUR lane."

What helps you stay in your own lane?

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  1. What a great post. Thank you 💜

  2. This is great. a lesson I am still very very much learning.

  3. I love this analogy, and it's so true and very applicable to every stage in life, I think. I've found that no matter times I tell myself, "Comparison is the thief of joy," I still find myself spending more time looking at what others have than myself. Something that I've been trying to do is everytime I catch myself thinking about what other people have/do, to say "that's great for them," and just move my thoughts on to whatever I need to be doing at the moment, or to figuring out how I can accomplish one of my personal goals. Because if I took all the time I've ever spend comparing myself to others and used it to accomplish some of my goals, I would have done so many incredibly epic things by now!

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