“Do you think they saw our license plate?” Steve asked as we continued north bound along the hi-way we had been traveling down together the past hour and a half. With his long curls and rough clothes Steve looked even more like a biker than usual and I was worried too that the police we had just passed might decide to follow us.
It wasn’t that our license number was on police record, the trouble was that although we had recently moved to NSW, our car was still registered in the state we had moved from. The reason was simple; registration was not only cheaper in Victoria, but cars licensed there only required a road worthy certificate from a mechanic when they were bought and sold, compared to NSW where this same certificate was required every year.
The result was that instead of driving being relaxing as it had been before, we now had to constantly have a story ready for why our car was licensed interstate.
With computers these days the same risk would be impossible, but this was back in the early nineties and many people played this risky game.
I use this little story above as an example of how in a similar way ego steals our peace of mind by creating stories that we carry around and need to remind ourselves of day and night.
“How could this have happened to me?” we ask when things go wrong in our life. When really the answer to that question is the last thing we want to hear.
It is amazing how well we can hypnotise ourselves with stories to avoid looking at our character flaws and gaps.
We remind ourselves of all the difficulties we have faced in life and how others have had more opportunities than we have, rather than face the truth about our own negligence in developing better habits of body and mind.
Over time these stories become waking dreams that define ourselves often by the worst things that have happened to us in our life.
This may not seem like ego; but in reality it is. The reason being that we use these stories as excuses to not play fair or by the rules and to shift our personal responsibilities on others while at the same time we claim our successes in life all for ourselves.
It hurts to wake up and face our own lack of foresight or personal responsibility, but it is only when we wake up and leave the stories behind that we can get ourselves to a place where we can be relaxed enough to be receptive to our surroundings and the people we are with. Because until we work to do this we are not present in reality – but instead living in a distorted reality these stories create in our own mind.
Is it worth the pain? Certainly! Looking honestly at ourselves may be unpleasant – but it beats living in a distorted fantasy world where we need to guard ourselves in case anyone may consider reminding us of the truth.
For what is the use of saving a little money every year on car registration if it takes the pleasure out of driving all year round.
PS. It is Christmas Eve here in Australia and so Steve and I will not be around tomorrow. We will be back on our computers on Boxing day (the day after Christmas) which is Christmas day in the northern hemisphere. This means if you are part of our online support group we will be around to help if things get tough.
Meanwhile hang in there and sigh and relax. Christmas is a great time to allow the spirit of hope and giving into your heart.