“Let go!” the technician yelled, raising his open hands high. “Turn loose of the wheel!” Yesterday I drove through one of those car washes where you drive into a track and the car is pulled through the wash. I did as he instructed, realizing that I hadn’t been through one of those in many, many years and I’d forgotten how it works. “Neutral!” “Neutral!” he yelled instructing me to put the car in the neutral gear to be pulled along by the carwash track mechanism.
As the soap and huge brush-like sheets covered my car I could not see out at all. I was alone in my car, being pulled along by an unseen force unable to see where I was going as a storm of soap, water and brushes lashed against my car. I was not guiding the car. No one appeared to be, yet it was moving forward. I felt anxious. I recognized that what I felt was a total lack of control.
I realized that the past few years of my life had been like that. Going through the illness and death of my husband then having my house on the market with no control over if or when it would sell or for what price, not knowing where I would be moving to or what my new life would be; I felt as though I was being pulled through a series of life’s storms without being able to see even a step ahead of me or having control over the situation.
“Let go!” I learned that I had to let go of the need to know what was next. I learned to trust that whatever it was I would have the strength and resources to handle it.
“Turn loose of the wheel!” I learned that while I’ve always believed that we need to plan, prepare and design the life we want, there are things we cannot control and times that we need to just let go of trying to steer the circumstances.
Faith. I learned the true meaning of faith. When you can’t see and can’t control your situation trusting that some unseen force outside of you—call it God, Fate or Spirit of the Universe—is in control and you’ll come through the crisis.
You will come out of the storm. When the soap and brushes stopped and the rinse cycle of the car wash began I could see the road ahead and could see sunlight and dry land. Although the ‘rain’ was still beating down on my windshield I could see that up ahead it was sunny and dry. I would be able to take back the steering wheel, put the car in drive and go on my way. I watched closely, observing the signs and lights. There was a big bump at the end when the green light signaled the end of the ‘storm’ and that it was time for me to resume control and go on my way.
I feel that in my life now, too. That I can drive again, choose my roads and destination. Put my hands back on the steering wheel, take my life out of the neutral position and get back on the road. The storm is over and I can see clearly again. I believe that while the storms of life were raging and my view was obstructed I was being pulled along by an unseen force that guided me.
I learned to let go. Turn lose of the wheel. Know that the storm would pass. Toward the end I could see that although the ‘rain’ was still pounding there was clear sky up ahead. Now there are new highways and back roads to explore. New places to go and new routes to navigate. I just have to remember that sometimes I need to put it in neutral, let go the wheel and trust that I’ll come out the other side.