My brain is driven by an erratic monkey and I'm in the passenger seat, holding on for dear life. This would be okay, except the monkey is always driving into oncoming traffic, so it mostly spends its time dodging collisions and reacting in the moment. It takes a force of will to overcome the monkey. I can sometimes claim the driver's seat, or at the very least - keep a steady hand on the wheel.
There are three types of oncoming traffic the monkey drives into, with three ways of dealing with it:
- Difficult Traffic, where it looks like we will surely die. Rather than cowering into the steering wheel and giving up, I must remind the monkey that challenging situations will improve their driving skills, so keep going.
- Ego Traffic. The oncoming traffic is terrifically slow. And for whatever reason, the monkey decides to do donuts in the car. I must remind the monkey that this is dangerous and unproductive.
- Anxiety Traffic. There's nothing special about this one. Just the fact that we are driving the wrong way is enough to make both our hearts palpitate. The monkey is simple-minded and easily distracted. I must tell the monkey to concentrate on its breaths. If I start doing them myself, it can't help but join in, and soon we are both out of oncoming traffic - if only temporarily.
There's no getting out of the car. I have to accept my position in this relationship. Whilst my foot isn't on the gas, I do have a map, a steady hand and a calming voice. I just need to have the courage to use them.
“My opponent is my teacher. My ego is my enemy” — Renzo Gracie