Monday, January 26, 2009

A Lingering Fear Put to Rest

I used to be very afraid of going through automated car washes. When I first started driving, it was a super scary undertaking for me. I've never been the best at 'spacial relationships' and so I was always nervous about getting my wheels properly aligned with the tracks that move you through the wash.

Over the years, I've gotten less nervous about that aspect of going through car washes. I'm generally pretty confident about getting onto the tracks!

There has been one fear, however, that lingered all these years. I get very nervous when they pack the cars in super close together to go through the car wash. I have always worried that someone might stop at the end of the car wash when they are supposed to drive out. If they stopped and I was behind them, what would happen? I worried that I would be thrust into the back of their car by the automatic rollers - and not be able to do a darn thing about it! It's not like I'd be able to put on the brakes or anything. I'm on a conveyor belt - being moved, whether I want to move or not!

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that each and every time I've gone through a car wash over the years, I have worried about this. Every single time. I have always been relieved when no one is in front of me. My anxiety level always increased whenever I had to go through right behind someone else.

So last weekend, I got my answer to the question, "What happens if someone stops at the end of the car wash and doesn't drive away when they are supposed to?" Big mystery resolved: THE CAR WASH STOPS! There is some sort of safety mechanism that stops the car wash so the cars don't bang into each other. DUH!!!!!

I felt a little silly as I observed this and had my revelation. All these years. I wonder how much anxiety that adds up to! If worry, anxiety and stress are bad for you (and they are) how much of a toll did all those car washes take on me?

I had never allowed myself to believe that someone else had thought of this, and made sure it wouldn't happen. I simply worried and spent energy on something that was entirely unnecessary!

In our lives, we worry about all sorts of things that will never happen, or are unlikely to happen. We put ourselves through all sorts of needless anxiety and anguish. Simply because we choose to or we don't look at things realistically or with our 'right mind.'

I don't ever need to be worried about going through a car wash again! At least not about what happens if the car in front of me doesn't GO! Think about all that energy that is now available to me for other things.

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