A few weeks ago I made a decision that I wasn’t going to tell anyone anymore about my (exciting, fun, adventurous, bucket listy) purchase of my new motorcycle. Although I was SUPER proud of having bought it after riding had been on my bucket list since high school, the comments and opinions I got when I told people really started to piss me off.
“That’s dangerous you know.”
“I know someone who died (is disabled, is injured, can’t walk, etc etc) from a motorcycle accident.”
“I would never get on one of those death traps.”
“You’re an idiot.”
And the worst:
Sigh….”Please be careful I would hate to see something happen to you.”
Although I know that these types of phrases technically come from a loving place, they annoyed me to the point of argument.
Like duh…like I hadn’t thought about the safety issues. Like I didn’t know already that they were dangerous. Like I hadn’t heard the same story of that one guy on that one road who died on a bike. It’s not a secret that motorcycles can be dangerous, so I felt like why the need to rain on my awesome new motorcycle parade with these quips.
And around the same time, I came across the quote:
“The critic hates the most that which he would have done himself if he had the guts” -Steven Pressfield
And thought…”That’s it!!!” That’s the quote that is going to be the reference for my blog post about my motorcycle. That ME living my life fulfilled and the way I want is somehow threatening to people because they just don’t have the guts to do it. And I had it in my head, the exact way to talk about it. Which basically just showed how awesome I am for doing it and how lame they are for telling me to be safe.
But something wasn’t right. I was too upset about what they were saying. I was wanting to be mean and “show them.” Which I know is an indicator for me to look inward. So I did the only thing a spiritual being in this situation can do. Reflect.
Why was I getting so upset at their concern for my safety? Why did it bother me so much they had a different opinion about it than me? And then it hit me.
It pissed me off because I was afraid they were right. I was scared too. I was afraid I’d die. Or get injured. Or something terrible would happen to me. Everything they brought up were fears I already had. It was like my fears telling me that these terrible things were definitely going to happen, and if I went for it, I’d be asking for it. Like “See…we TOLD you and you didn’t listen.” So every time someone would say something, it got added to the pot of my fears that already existed.
Which left me conflicted. Because learning to ride a motorcycle has been one of the proudest things I’ve ever done.
DESPITE these fears, despite the lack of support from family or friends, despite not having anyone I know to show me the ropes, despite how much it’s not accepted by society, or the motor safety division, I wanted to do it. I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to have that experience of shifting gears and rolling on the throttle and having the wind in my hair and the smell of the trees in my nose as the beautiful mountain landscape whizzes by me.
I wanted to see for myself if it lived up to my fantasies.
And it does.
And what I came to after this reflection is another quote I came across recently which is:
“The more you stand behind what you’re doing, the less you need others to.”
It wasn’t that they were bad for telling me to be careful, but what it did instead was force me to stand behind my decision. To be firm. And proud. In the face of disagreement. And this lesson is perhaps one of the most important thus far.
It’s easy to blame other people when we feel upset. It’s easy to look outward when we’re hurt. But rarely, if ever, is it about other people. We have a whole world inside our minds and the more willing we are to look at it, the less suffering we’ll feel.
Yes I still get scared. Yes it still bugs me when someone reacts that way to me telling them I ride. But I know now that the place to look is my own leadership of my own life, and be proud of my decisions regardless. To make them for the right reasons. And to live MY life.
This is a Wildheart life. And I’m proud I did it.
I don’t know if I’ll do it forever. And it doesn’t matter to me. That I’ve done it at all and had that experience and taken it all into my own hands. Is what matters to me. There has been nothing like that feeling of riding my bike by myself for the first time. It got me. Boots chaps and sinker.
So the next time you want to get mad at someone who has a different opinion you do. The next time your blood boils at something someone says, the next time you’re more upset than usual at a situation take some time to reflect. Might be a good time to re-evaluate what you stand for. Stand up for what you believe in and you won’t need others to. The more you believe in what you’re up to the less it’ll matter whether or not other people think it’s a good idea.
What is something in your life you’re needing to stand behind? Leave a comment below.
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