It all started with a speeding ticket.
I am loving life. I've just received a text from Andrea, saying my books are selling like hot cakes at her coffee shop in Tisdale. Hooray!
I leave my house to drive to work, and am listening to "Here I Am," by the Filthy Souls...I have that puppy cranked up to 30 on my car stereo.
It's a GREAT day! Life is wonderful. Damn I love summer!
As I drive on the highway - almost at work! - I meet a white vehicle.
Shit. Is that the cops?!
It is. Woop woop, the bubbles come on. I hit my brakes. He turns around. Clearly, those lights are meant to stop me and Vladimir.
As I wait for him to walk to my car, I pull out my license. I think: I must have been speeding. Oh well. I've got this. I'll pay the ticket. All good.
As the officer starts talking about my speeding (100km/h in an 80km/h zone...I accelerated on the highway too quickly), I look at him. And I just start crying.
Oh my god, stop crying. What am I doing? He's going to think I'm trying to get out of this ticket.
"Are you okay? It's going to be okay. It's just a ticket."
"Yep, it's not you, it's me. It's just been one of those weeks."
As he walks away, I feel mortified. I hate crying, especially when it's unexpected. But a wall of emotion that I apparently had been holding, locked tight inside me, took this damn opportunity to let go. That poor officer. (Although I'm sure he sees it all the time.) This moment was the straw that broke the camel's back...all my stress let go, and I couldn't stop it. All the damn tears.
He came back with my $190 ticket and looked at me with kind eyes (damn it, don't look at me with kind eyes, that's just going to make me cry more!!). The tears are just a-flowing, and it is awful. I'm not the kind of woman that cries over a speeding ticket! As the officer explains my payment options, I see Rebecca, one of our team members, drive by, and my embarrassment deepens. That sheer joy I experienced two minutes ago is now replaced by frustration and embarrassment...and the sweaty pits that come with those emotions.
He tells me to take care, to not let this ticket ruin my weekend, and walks back to his vehicle. I take a moment to wipe the mascara that is running down my cheek. I've gotta pull my shit together. I'm one minute from work, and even though we're a close team, I don't want the ladies there to see me crying. It's just a speeding ticket. Why am I crying about a speeding ticket?! I'm such a wuss.
As I park my car, I gather myself. Wipe my nose, check my eyes (still red), take a big breath. I walk into work, and Rebecca says: "I would say good morning but I don't think it's been a good morning so far?" And I laugh it off and keep walking to my office and I almost make it to the safety of my office so nobody sees my eyes...but then. Mom, and Jeanne, and Rebecca all come to my door. They ask: "What happened?" with their kind eyes and I just start crying, all over again. Fuck.
The beautiful thing? They just let me be, and offer kindness. Jeanne offers to make coffee the way I like it (not too strong, not too weak, just right), and tells me about her recent speeding ticket experience. Rebecca and Mom say "that sucks he didn't just give you a warning!" They're kind, as sisters are.
The tears eventually fade, and everyone goes back to what they were doing before my unexpected emotional mess entered the building. I sit. I breathe. I quickly check in with myself: what's this about? I'm able to sit and breathe because I let the emotion go, even though I didn't really want to (ugh, crying is uncomfortable). But my sisters helped me let it go.
I go to our kitchen to pour coffee, and Mom comes to see how I'm doing. I sigh, and tell her: "It's not about the speeding ticket. That was just the final straw, in my frustration. I'm frustrated that I don't fully know where I'm going with Grounded Goodness. I've been in the fog for months and it's just so frustrating. The tears are from frustration. Pure frustration."
Then, in true Mom fashion, she tells me what she sees: "Speaking. Teaching. You love doing that. That's Grounded Goodness. Let's do more of that." (As a business partner and mother, she offers support in a way that nobody else can.) The relief that arises in me, that comes from her clarity, is overwhelming.
Today has been a ride. From my initial morning joy, to tears of frustration, to receiving support from my sisters...and that was only from 8am to 9am. Good god.
But I've processed it quickly, and I'm moving forward...and want to share my learning with you. My point of telling you all this:
It's never about the speeding ticket. It's what's happening underneath.
When you have a strong emotion (like frustration to the point of crying, in an embarrassing way), in a situation that doesn't really warrant that reaction (getting a speeding ticket), I invite you to dig deeper (like I was able to, by being supported).
What is underneath it? What's the a-ha moment that's waiting to come to the light? That if you just look at it...it can clear the fog in your life.
So the steps: Experience intense emotion. Question why you are feeling this way. Admit what's really going on, with no judgment of yourself. Talk to a sister if needed. Let it go. Be kind to yourself.
Over and over. Day in, day out. That's it. If we can both do that, our world will be happier and healthier. And we likely won't take the emotion out on anybody else. Like that cop.
Now, let's start over: Isn't it a great day? :)
PS. If you're craving the support of sisters to help you move forward, check out our new events calendar here. We have upcoming events for you to feel supported, and to offer support. You won't want to miss them!