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Finding someone worth being with

May 9, 2016

When I was small, I once hit the gear shift while the car was running. My father had made the mistake of stepping out of the car for a moment to pay the meter. The car started to roll and he reached in the open window and used his strength to stop the car from rolling further.

Growing up, I had a recurring dream about rolling downhill alone in a car near where I lived.

Fast forward twenty years. I am driving a rental car in San Francisco a few months before I move there. My new-ish boyfriend (and future husband) is in the passenger seat. We are behind several cars on one of those famous streets, a very steep hill with a four way intersection and stop sign at the top.

I have one foot on the gas and the other on the break. Each time I press forward, there are a few moments of rolling backwards. I remember my childhood dreams and become scared. I tell my boyfriend that he needs to quickly switch with me and take over the driving.

He gently refuses and tells me that I need to do this for myself. At first I am slightly irritated but I know he is right. In fact, I am grateful that he did not take this opportunity from me and that I have his support rather than him trying to rescue me. This experience tells me that I’ve got someone who believes in me and is worth being with.

It’s so easy to step in and save people. To give advice and fix. It takes something more to stay the coursewhile they figure it out for themselves, struggle or make mistakes.

When we love someone, we don’t want them to suffer. The desire to protect is a natural one. There are occasions when it is appropriate to help directly but too many times we cheat someone of an embodied learning experience and feelings of competence, confidence and triumph due to our own discomfort. This can apply to children, women in labor or someone coping with a disability.

The incident in the car with my husband taught me a valuable lesson. It is something that I remember fondly and reminds me of why I chose this man.

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