Road Rage. These are two words that create an immediate and impulsive reaction in many people. Weâ€™ve all had it happen, right? Youâ€™re in a good mood, the sun is shining, thereâ€™s music blowing out the open windows of your car as you cruise down the highway. The day is starting off right! Then, inch by inch, you start creeping up on someone in the left lane and they arenâ€™t moving out of the way. Or worse, they move from the right lane into the left, just before you are about to pass them. A little tickle of irritation rumbles through you, but hopefullyÂ nothing more.Â Normally, I give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they are simply oblivious to my advance, but it can become really difficult to remain detached and unassuming when things continue to escalate in a seemingly intentional way.
That’s what happened to me this morning. Iâ€™ll call my road rager Steve (no offense to all the Steveâ€™s out there!). Steve eventually moved into the right lane and I was able to pass him, but he didn’t like this arrangement at all. He quickly switched to the left lane, zoomed past me, and got back in the right lane. I had my cruise set, which is one way I keep myself from engaging in these kinds of road rage tactics. I was only going to pass if my steady and set speed called for it. Since Steve slowed down, I again moved to pass him. He moved to block me. Why, oh why?
Sometimes in these situations, when I remain detached and donâ€™t take hold of the energy that is being thrown at me, I canâ€™t help but chuckle when people play these games. When I engage, it becomes another story. My blood pressure creeps up, heart starts to beat a little faster, and there it is. Frustration. Stress. Anger. Fear. And the ultimate question, â€śWhat is this personâ€™s problem and why are they taking it out on me?!â€ť Truly, there shouldnâ€™t be an issue with someone passing you, but when people take it personally or make a game of keeping otherâ€™s at bay, there is definitely an underlying issue and an energetic dance and power struggle ensues.
The challenge becomes remaining disengaged, not interacting with their energy, and simply experiencing the moment with a detached attitude. Remain cautious of the road ragerâ€™s actions, but focus a little more on your music, the scenery, or even the humor in the situation because, really, isn’t this a pretty infantile response? Someone elseâ€™s attempt at a cat and mouse game normally has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their existing issues. Itâ€™s an easy trap to fall into because the energy is pointed and acute, but whether you participate is a choice.
If you can keep yourself unattached you might even try sending â€śSteveâ€ť well-wishes and healing. I visualize my car encircled in a yellow-white bubble of safe healing light. This disconnects me from what I see as red energy shooting from Steve. This is the energy that is trying to influence me to react as a victim. By taking control of my own energy, I maintain my power and do not have to prove that power by â€śbeatingâ€ť Steve in a driving battle. Beyond my own security, I can then extend this energy and picture it (lovingly) moving to surround this angry driver. If they are willing to receive it, this alone may calm them and ease the aggression. If nothing else, by extending a positive impression you will disengage any negative attachment you had, be able to remain calm, and get to your destination safely.
What about you? What is your perspective as a road rage instigator or recipient? If this situation occurred would you find this exercise to be helpful?