Wearing Tires – Metaphorically Speaking

step 12 magazine tires

by Karen VanDenBerg

When the tires on my car are brand new, I can maneuver better, stop smoother, and there’s a noticeable cushion between me and the rough hard surface of the road I’m traveling. It is only when I am driving on new tires that I even notice how worn out the old tires actually were.

Day after day, and mile after mile I take for granted that the wheels in motion will carry me to my destination. I pay no attention to the slowly eroding comfort and control of my fresh new tires. In my denial, I cling to the memory of when they were new. I willingly cast aside my resolve to get them rotated, maintained and replaced. But inevitably, I am jolted out of complacency when my journey is abruptly cut short by an unexpected nail, a highway blow-out, or a slow-leak that renders me stuck.

Metaphorically speaking, I feel a little like a wheel and the tire is what carries me; its my essence, my substance—my spiritual connection to the journey. As long as I continue to get the job done, I just go-go-go. On the outside, wear and tear is visible but I never notice it myself. I don’t notice I’m about to blow until I do.

Everyone around me can see when I’m thread-bare and nobody (but me) is surprised or disturbed when I am out of commission for repair. My essence demands replenishment and it’s up to me how far I push it. I can schedule time and resources for maintenance, or I can wait until I’m stopped in my tracks. Either way, there is no avoiding attention to the substance that carries me—the connection to my journey.

Someone pointed out that my tires are looking pretty worn these days. I hadn’t noticed. Now that I am aware, I know I’m not moving along as optimally as possible.

Before I go flat, get stuck, or completely blow, I think I’ll take a walk on the beach, dance without looking and meditate in a hot bath. I believe it will help me maneuver better, stop smoother and enjoy the cushion between me and the road I travel.

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