u turn

December 14, 2009 at 5:00 am 4 comments

Because we share Bella with her mom, and her mom moved to a town three hours away, Nathan and Bella brave winter highways every other weekend. Nathan never looks forward to delivering Bella away from us but this Sunday was particularly snowy, making for an even more dreaded event.

As they drove slowly down the highway, inching along the rutted and icy tracks, Nathan’s heart grew heavier and heavier. Both he and Bella worked hard to imagine themselves arriving safely, but their feelings were telling them otherwise. As the truck in front of them disappeared into a blinding white haze, Nathan realized he’d had all these same feelings last spring while again driving Bella to her other house. On that day he had ignored his intuition, the dark heaviness of his heart, and continued on. They crashed. A multi car pile up in which the two of them were miraculously not hurt.

Tonight his heart was talking to him again. Heart telling him one thing, child custody laws telling him something else… he pulled over, cried, and then turned around.

We warmly welcomed them back home, but I have been wondering, how often do we ignore our intuition? What ‘highways’ are we barreling down while pushing our feelings out the door? And why?

A snowy highway, in some ways is an “easy” example, most of us are very in tune and brave when it comes to the safety of our children. But there are so many ways in which we subtly ignore or logically override our feelings on a day to day basis. I think of people that walk down the aisle to their waiting husband-to-be, knowing deep down that he is the wrong man for them. I think of parents that automatically respond to their children in ways that feel terrible to them but do so anyway. I think of couples that break up after years and years of pretending that those negative thoughts and feelings they harbor do not exist.

Nathan avoided death tonight. He saved himself and his dear girl by listening to his heart and not allowing himself to be emotionally bullied onto a path he felt wasn’t safe.

We can live this way too. Not every situation is life or death. We can follow our feelings when someone invites us somewhere we do not want to go, we can decline and say why, we do not have to lie. We can respond to our children the way that feels right, without looking over our shoulder and heeding the norms. We can say no to the job, man, or move that doesn’t resonate in our hearts.

This is what you need to live this way: confidence, awareness of your feelings, courage to admit them, and faith that this path, the one that follows your feelings, will actually save you from further pain.

Entry filed under: favorites, life lessons, parenting principles. Tags: , , , .

memories missing signposts

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ivy  |  December 14, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Good for Nathan for listening to his instincts. I’m glad no harm came to them. Thank you for the reminder to follow the path that feels right, even when something else tells us not to.

  • 2. kris  |  December 14, 2009 at 10:52 am

    beautiful. thank you.

  • 3. Theresa  |  December 14, 2009 at 11:52 am

    This reminds me of the Serenity prayer.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • 4. heidi  |  December 16, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Yes! I am in a situation right now like you describe. Why is it so hard to say the truth sometimes? To say no? As a woman, I find that I often want to please and not disappoint…yet I find myself in uncomfortable positions and under stress. It is a hard thing to rectify.


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