New beginnings — guess I needed a swift kick in the rear

On the next-to-last day of the year, I was rear-ended. Hard.

Rear-ended, new beginnings

It was varying degrees of awful, and it could have been much worse.

My job is to rest my body and my tender heart this weekend, so what I’m going to do is share with you what I posted on Facebook on the night that this happened.

Here we go.

It’s time to connect to my gratitude. ‘Cause if I can’t I’m stuck feeling like a victim, and feeling sorry for myself, and feeling scared.

After taking a beloved friend to lunch, and giving her some cash because she’s in financial straits, I went to the grocery store, and as I left, I got rear-ended — hard. My car may be totaled. I’m sore.

  • So I tenderly say to my victim thoughts: No, honey, it’s not linear. You’re not being punished, nor does your generosity to your friend exempt you from life happening, from shit happening. Life surely happened today. The woman behind me wasn’t looking and drove right into the back of my car. With gusto.
  • And I lovingly say to my self-pitying thoughts: It could have been so much worse. You could be in the hospital, or dead. Your car could have hit one of the people in the crosswalk for whom you had stopped. You made it safely to the side of the road, you are insured, and you’re driving a 2015 fancy-ass Impala while the fate of your old Camry is being processed.
  • And to my fear thoughts, I say: Oh sweetie, you’re okay. You’re safe. You’re fed. You’re loved. Just keep breathing. Even if the insurance company totals the car, you’ll be okay; you’ll get the transportation you need. And, yes, darling, why not watch just one more episode of The Wire before bed? (My self-soothing may seem really weird, but it works for me!!)

I got such incredible love and lessons from my tribe on Facebook! Like….

  • A rear-ender means a good kick up the backside to get you moving in life… Where are you stuck and and needing to move? It is opportunities to grow further… Look to 2015 as extra special New Beginnings… Have a fantastic journey this year and keep moving forward…
  • Having this end 2014 is better than, say, starting off 2015 with this incident. This is annoying, but not tragic and though you may know that intellectually, it’s always good to review it. On the plus side, things can only go up right?
  • Way to stand plunk in the middle of compassionate power and say, well, wow, a day in the life…

I am so happy to have gotten to acceptance and gratitude in such a short time.

It was all in the same day, yo. It was about four hours.

That’s the whole game, isn’t it? Life happens. Life happens in wildly unexpected ways (and from directions you can’t even see), right?

It all comes down to this: When can you let go of resentment, and fear, and self-pity, and get to gratitude? What do you choose to do about it? All of it? What do you choose to think? What do you choose to say? What do you choose to do?

I got the kick in the rear I must have needed, kicked me right into the new beginning of a new day, and a new year (and maybe a newer used car!).

How are you choosing to accept what life has offered you today? What new beginnings (sought or not) are you facing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Love and so much gratitude for you!

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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    • Ck, thanks. You remind me of one of the many powerful lessons I learned from my tai chi teacher — strength through softness.

      Which feels to me now like yielding to what is, without resistance. It feels so much better than when I tense up. I am getting this in a whole new way.


  1. Dear Sue,
    What a breath of fresh air it was to read this post! A beautiful reminder of how loving, tender, and compassionate we can be with ourselves even in the midst of an accident! What you shared here – your examples of self-talk and mindful mindset-shifting – is going to help many.
    Blessings 🙂

    • Sheila, thanks for the TLC; that feels so good!

      I appreciate the comment. Helps so much, as my writing becomes more transparent and more real, to know that it lands softly and lovingly. You’ve made my day.


  2. Wow! You are awesome! Loved how quickly you reframed that! I am glad you are okay physically and be sure to take it easy. Thank you for providing such a great example of grace and gratitude.

    • Sheila, welcome here. And thank you. Feels kind of miraculous, but I guess that practice, practice, practice really does pay off. Life still happens, and the big deal is how I respond to the happenings.

      Liberating, yo.

  3. So sorry this happened to you but, you’re right — it all just “is.” It’s the rolling around in my head, trying to make “it” different that creates the crazy soup. Thanks for sharing… and feel unsore soon. 🙂

    • Andrea, thanks for the loving comment. May whatever is in your life today be tolerable with absolutely zero crazy soup.


  4. LUV the spirit of this post. Sh*t does happen, but your ability to keep things in perspective is inspiring. Here’s a whole weekend of Wire episodes for you!

    • Kimba, thanks! I have just two seasons left to go on The Wire and I’m taking a break. S4 is one of my favorites, though; maybe I will dive in this weekend.

      Love and gratitude,

  5. Such a great post about finding gratitude in everything. We can’t change what’s happened, but we can decide how we react to our circumstances. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Mui, welcome.

      How I react to everything — that’s the game-changer. I’ve had some dramatic reminders in the last year…. Guess I needed them! I can be pretty stubborn.

      As I learned in 12-step recovery: What you resist, persists. I have stopped resisting. Hopefully in a deep and lasting way.

      Love and light,

  6. I love your positive attitude Sue! I remember vividly the last time I was rear ended. I’d just picked up my car from the body shop – yes, the body shop. Three weeks earlier I had been sitting in a parking lot patiently waiting for someone to pull out of their parking spot when a driver – obviously not paying attention – rammed into the back of my new BMW. I was remarkably patient as we exchanged insurance information. It took 3 weeks to get everything sorted out and my car repaired.

    Fast forward and here I am calmly sitting at a red light minding my own business and out of the blue a driver slams into the back of my JUST repaired BMW. My friend sitting in the passenger seat said she could swear actual fire came out of my mouth and my arms were waving so much as I screamed at the other driver she thought I was going to take flight.

    Yes, well … not my proudest moment, though I do believe my being miffed was justified. It was the closest I’ve ever come to understanding the meaning of the term “road rage.”

    • Marquita, I admit, it wasn’t so positive (my attitude,that is) at the moment of impact. Especially when the driver of the car that hit mine told me not to be upset, it’s only an inconvenience. Compassion for her (she must have been totally freaked!) was completely absent; I was all about me and how it hurt to breathe (seatbelt trauma) and horrified.

      Fire may have been coming out of my nostrils right then, I think.

      I’m just grateful I got to that “let go” place in the same day. That’s progress, yo.


    • Thanks, Suzie.

      I was wondering. Until I realized that it hurt less to accept all of it than it does to make myself crazy trying to figure out the why and how.

      Love to you!

  7. It’s interesting how sudden things happening in life can have such an impact, and cause such a pattern of thoughts as they did for you Sue… and how comments from friends can again bring new aspects to the situation!
    It was quite a day, and I love the outcome of positivity you chose
    after all, things happen… and always for a reason I think….
    you managed to turn that event around swiftly, and with smiling gratitude 🙂

    • Jacs, thanks so much. Yes, that’s the kind of win I want from life now…. A quick reframe, and gratitude.

      So glad I’ve lived long enough to get to this place!


  8. Sue, I really liked how you connected to your gratitude in order not to be a victim and did not succumb to a “Pity Party.” LOL! Sometimes the Universe does give us a kick in the keester so that we have to unite with all our Inner-selves to overcome the momentary crisis.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us.
    Kathleen O’keefe- Kanavos

    • Kathleen, that’s beautiful. And just what I needed to read this morning now that I’ve been gifted with a relapse of the bad cough I’ve had for over a month.


  9. Sue, I love how you talked down each of your voices – reframing them to see a level of gratitude. It’s the only way to let it go and not hold on and make yourself more miserable. SO glad you weren’t seriously hurt.

    • Diane, welcome, and thanks!

      Especially resonant tonight, since I’m sick again with 101º fever — my eyeballs are on fire.

      So I’m triple grateful.

      Blessings and love,

  10. What a fabulous way to demonstrate how life changing gratitude can be, and I love how you accept and love those aspects of you that are freaked. True self-love right there. <3 x

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