Protective Angels

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In the past few years my perspective has drastically changed.  I’m much more apt to believe that circumstances just happen rather than each detail of my life is being orchestrated by a group of heavenly beings based on my prayers.
A few years ago on Thanksgiving day we totaled our minivan on the freeway.  I honestly believed that my family had guardian angels assigned to us by god that day and that’s what saved us from being injured or killed.  I could visualize them pushing against our car to help slow it down before it went rolling off the side of the freeway.  I hardly put any weight on the fact that our car was well built, our carseats top of the line, Mark calm and collected as the car spun out of control and the fact that it was the guard rail that ultimately stopped our car from flying off the road.  Now looking back I have a hard time even imagining the supernatural involvement of that day.  I see it much more as accidental.  We happened to drive at a high speed over a wet puddle on the road, we hydroplaned, we were all safely buckled in, and eventually the guard rail stopped us.
Also a few years ago the boys and I were driving up our local mountain to have breakfast with Mark who was riding his bike to the top of the mountain.  We pulled up on an accident scene with a cyclist. Helicopters were landing when I had this heavy sense that it was Mark.  Our oldest said a prayer for his daddy to be protected and then we soon found out that it was Mark lying in the road.  He had crashed his bike at a high rate of speed (38mph or so if I remember correctly) and was being airlifted off the mountain.
Turns out he had nothing more than some severe road rash and a broken collarbone.  I praised god and his angels up and down for protecting Mark and I wholeheartedly believed that because the holy spirit had given me the premonition to stop and pray Mark had been protected by his angels.  Today I see the lack of validity in those claims.  At that time I was so afraid of Mark cycling and with every ambulance I heard on the mountain my stomach would sink and I would throw up prayers that it not be Mark.  This situation was no different.  I saw cyclists flying down the mountain at speeds over 40mph, I heard the helicopters, and I did what I always did.  Feared and prayed.
Many times since that accident on the mountain I have still said the prayers.  And then I laugh because I realize I am speaking to a god strictly out of habit.  Not due to belief.  It’s one of those deprogramming bits that I still need to do.
Today I was driving the boys to their physical therapy appointment and Mark was riding his bike to work.  I was approaching an intersection and saw ambulances and fire engines also approaching and the fear that Mark should be right around this area crossed my mind.  I didn’t send up any false prayers this time but that little yucky feeling sat in the pit of my stomach for those few seconds before I saw Mark lying on the side of the road.  Sure enough Mark had been hit by a car this morning and we were pulling up on the scene.  Fortunately he survived the accident with a beat up elbow, sore muscles and shaken nerves but nothing more.
I learned a few things about my growth this morning.  First of all I recognized that there is no holy spirit feeding me warnings about Mark crashing.  I realized that any time I know Mark is supposed to be riding a certain street and I see flashing emergency lights I automatically get a sick feeling of fear.  I don’t want it to be him or any other cyclist.  Today was the first time I didn’t start begging god to send his angels to ride next to Mark.  To protect him from all harm.  I realized I’ve been saying prayers after he’s been hit anyhow:)  Today was the first time I evaluated that our lives are just a series of choices and circumstances.  Mark rides his bike to and from work (during peak traffic hours) all the time so his chances of being hit are higher.  Chances are accidents will happen.  And they are just that…accidents.
That brings me to the second area of growth that I have had.  I used to be a lot angrier.  I felt like justice was one of the greatest gifts god would give one day.  I was able to assess today’s situation calmly, approach the woman who hit Mark, give her a hug and reassure her that we understand that these things happen.  I’m very aware of cyclists and I still could’ve made the mistake that she did.  She was very humble and extremely honest about what happened which makes being kind to her easier than if she had denied her fault in this and ranted about “her hate of cyclists”.  But for baby steps this one was good for me.  I experienced deep empathy for her knowing that she felt horrible and felt scared that she could’ve badly injured someone or worse yet killed him.  If I had been in her shoes I would hope that the cyclist and his family could be empathetic toward me as well.  I believe I still would’ve felt this way toward her even if Mark’s circumstances had been much worse.
In spite of the craziness of this morning today is a good day.  It’s another day of life.  Another day to grow.  Another day to know that I’m exactly where I want to be.  I have immense amounts of freedom and peace on this side of religion.  I can see that I am able to rationally assess circumstances as they happen.  I am free from spiritual emotion and dogma.  I am becoming stronger in these moments of trial.  I am loving this journey.
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About ThinkingWithVitality

Wife, mama, certified wellness coach, certified vet tech, adoption and special needs advocate, adventure seeker, wannabe vegetarian, freethinker, knowledge hunter, secular humanist. Love writing, distance running, cycling, hiking, photography, nature, essential oils, natural medicine, traveling, RVs and tents, reading, adventures, organizing, authentic living, good beer, acoustic music and happy to have landed in Costa Rica for this moment in time.

One response »

  1. I love all your blogs, but this one really spoke to me. I too felt empathy for the woman who hit me rather than justified anger for her careless and selfish actions (she was late to work). Why? Because I see people as being as human as me, which means people make mistakes, good people make mistakes. I realized that I could take the opportunity to yell at her and make her feel really guilty about what she had done, but I consciously chose not to. This is not to say that tinges of anger did not arise within me. Oh, it did! But, instead of my ego controlling me by telling me that I had a 'right' to be angry and make her feel really awful about her actions, I was able to see those feelings arise within and then, after just a couple of seconds of being calm, those feelings dissipated back to empathy toward her and thankfulness my injuries were as minor as they were. I too believe that if my injuries had been more severe I would have reacted in the same way in which I did today. Regarding the religious side of things, I felt quite liberated not to feel like some deity had saved me from being severely injured. I know deep down that the idea of an involved Being is created by our own inability to handle not being in complete control of what happens to us. I was lucky today, nothing to do with protection by a god. And, the most liberating point is…I have no fear of any retribution from a god for writing this. This is freedom from religion and fear. Let's keep on this path of freethinking and refusal to be controlled by fear. …. So, I'll be riding my bike home today. I'll see you at around 6. XoXo.

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