Motorcycle Story – React or Respond?

mBike traffic2Inspired by a big mouthful of exhaust fumes at the Murray Rd/Sydney Rd intersection, I am keen to get in front on the belching truck ahead of me. With no room on the right side and no turning signal from the truck, I made the choice to risk going up the left side where there was room to pass. The light was still red and it seemed safe so I did it. I heard a honk and some words but it didn’t sound like a truck horn so I didn’t assume it was directed at me. I was wrong.

As I turned left, the truck followed, the driver sticking his head out the window yelling. The stop light near Coburg Lake Park was red and he was stopped behind me, irate. I turned around to say: “Sorry, the exhaust…”. But he didn’t hear me, not sure he wanted to either. He was expressing all sorts of nasty stuff yet all I could make out was “where did you learn to ride?” So I just turned back around and shook my head.

At the next stretch of road, he got ahead of me and I gave him a wide birth, wanting to avoid further conflict, even if it meant breathing in the noxious truck exhaust. I noticed how upset I felt, like I wanted to cry. Then I remembered that I have a choice about how I respond to my emotions. I could push it down, I could let it go, I could cry into my helmet (wouldn’t be the first time). Or I could get in touch with the feeling. I was aware that my inner child was hurting. Without really thinking about how to deal with it, I imagined nurturing that scared, hurt child, the arms of the universal mother caring and holding that part of me. Within a few seconds of that thought, the emotional pain was gone. Some hurt remained, but I no longer felt weepy. Continue reading