My husband and I were invited to attend a party the other night. It was dark when we left the house. Neither of us had been to the party’s location before, so we did what anyone in our position would do. We Wazed it.
The road conditions were hazardous. The night was foggy and visibility was a bit challenging. There was construction work on the roads and the particular signage we were looking for was very difficult to find. Between our conversation in the car and the driving conditions, we missed the highway entrance, then missed 2 more turns after that.
"No guilt trips, no humiliating, embarrassing moments."
Needless to say, we both began to get irritated. I could feel my frustration level rising and the critical voice in my head began its usual assault on me. The old recording was activated. That age-old commentary that has been haunting me since as far back as I can recall was in full attack mode before I even realized what was happening inside my head. The same old songs were playing on the ‘Radio Chaos’ channel tuned to its internal default setting.
“What is wrong with you?” “Pay attention!” “How could he have missed that turn? What’s wrong with him?!” “Why weren’t you paying attention?!” “How could you be so stupid?!” “We will get there very late, and the party will be over by the time we get there and it’s all your fault!” “It’s all his fault, actually.” “Why didn’t you leave earlier?!” “What is the matter with you?!” “Argh!!!”
As I felt my husband’s anxiety rising, it triggered mine even more. Even though we didn’t talk about it, I was sure that he had a similar program running in his head.
While I was busy with my reactive internal lashing, I realized that Waze was offering me a role model of pure proactivity in its response to our actions. Every time we missed a turn, Waze simply recalculated itself and gave us a new option. No matter how many times we messed up, Waze did not give us a lecture on our incompetence at following directions. Waze did not judge us, humiliate us, shame us into submission. Waze just kept offering us a new option to help us reach our destination. It was so funny. I started to laugh. Wow, Waze is so spiritual!
“That is amazing!” I thought. “I wonder what it would be like to grow up with parents, siblings, teachers, and bosses – especially myself - who would respond to my mistakes like Waze, simply giving me a new option to help me grow, or find my way back to my path.”
"It guides me to be my very best."
Imagine coming home from school and telling my parents that I failed Math. “That’s alright dear. Here is another option to passing the next test.”
“Hey, Dad, I accidentally banged up the car.”
“No problem, Sweetie. Here is a way to get it fixed and get you back on the road in no time.”
“Gee. Thanks, Dad!”
Or, imagine this scenario: “Mom, Dad, even though I have only one semester left to graduate university with a debt of $200,000 that you have so generously incurred on my behalf, I decided I am going to quit school today, move to NYC and become an actress – and wait tables until I get discovered – in 10 years, IF I am lucky.”
“Ok, sweetie. Here is a ticket for your flight.”
No guilt trips, no humiliating, embarrassing moments. No threats, no screaming, cursing, drama, or manipulation of any kind. Just a pleasant understanding and a pure willingness to help me get to where I choose to go.
Waze doesn’t judge.
When I decide to change my mind, Waze is right there, indefatigably and unconditionally supporting me all the way to my new destination.
So, I have decided to erase my old ‘Guilt trip’ app and install a new ‘Waze’ self-talk app that doesn’t judge me. It guides me to be my very best.
Wait a minute.
I just realized that I already have an app for that. It’s called my True Voice. It’s the voice of my soul. My intuition. The original Waze. And it has been right there, all the time. I just wasn’t paying attention.