A week ago today, I got into a very minor fender bender.
No one was hurt and there was virtually no damage whatsoever, but for days afterward, I couldn’t stop replaying it over and over again in my head.
“What if I had just left a few minutes later? What if I had missed that light or taken a different route?”
I tortured myself mercilessly by running through an aimless and endless list of “what ifs,” all geared toward regaining control, changing the outcome and preventing my perceived misstep.
Blame it on my Type-A, control-freak, perfectionist tendencies.
The only way I could find relief was by reframing the accident as a good lesson for the future and the means to a greater end.
It was in that state of mind that I stumbled across this quote from the wise and wonderful Dr. Wayne Dyer:
There are no wrong roads taken to anywhere; there are no accidents. As we go along there are course corrections that we can make, and every experience that we have in our life is there to teach us something.
In terms of fitting quotes and perfect timing, that ranks pretty high up there on the list for me. I’m filing that one alongside another similar message I love from the late American zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck:
Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the guru.
When wrestling with regret, or a need to control or change situations or people, this perspective offers peace of mind and applies quite nicely.