Road Rage

by Anne Malatt, Australia

I used to suffer with road rage. My veneer of ‘niceness’ would crack when I was driving and all my pent-up frustration and rage would come pouring out. There were no words for how I felt and I used to invent expletives. I was still like this when my children were little: they would squeal with delight when they heard a new word like ‘dick-brain’ and repeat it over and over.

My pet hates were people who would pull into the passing lane and drive slowly, so that no-one could pass anyone; people who drove slowly, for any reason; and tailgaters. I love driving, but I liked to drive fast: I was usually running late, and I did not like anyone getting in my way.

I tried as hard as I could to control myself, to have understanding and compassion for why people drove the way they did. I reminded myself that if I wasn’t running late, it would not matter, but still the rage poured forth.

The other day I was driving along and I realised that I was driving within the speed limit: I was not getting annoyed, even though people were still doing what they have always done… and I was really enjoying myself.

What has happened?

I met Serge Benhayon and began to attend Universal Medicine courses and workshops. Serge teaches a way of living that is simple, loving and natural. I had been living far from this way of life, but have been inspired and lovingly supported to return to this way, which now feels true for me.

Firstly, I have learned to try and take responsibility for everything I do and feel, without blaming anyone else, no matter how they are behaving. When I feel frustrated, it is my frustration, and I try to see and feel where it is coming from. When I blamed other people for my problems, I lived in hell. Now, no matter what is going on, I know I am responsible for my life and for everything in my world, and with that responsibility comes the freedom to do something about the things that trouble me, or at least the way I feel about them.

Secondly, I have come to learn that I can only do what I can do, and to only fit into an hour what I can do in an hour, so I am not always running late now. I have come to learn to love myself for who I am, not what I do, so I no longer put so much pressure on myself to do as much as I can all of the time.

Thirdly, I have come to learn to let people in. Not just literally on the road, but into my world, into my heart, as my equals, as fellow human beings. So, when someone pulls out in front of me, I let them in. I realise they are in my world for a reason, even if I don’t understand what that reason is, and even if they have pulled out into the only passing lane between Bangalow and Lismore and I am now going to be late, I let them in and let them be.

It is truly amazing what a difference this has made in my life, to the pace I live and the pace I drive. I love driving now, and use my time in the car as a time to be with myself, to prepare myself for work, to wind down afterwards… and sometimes just to sing and have fun!

Of course, I am still human and old habits die hard. Sometimes I find myself feeling frustrated again. Now, I see this as an opportunity to look more deeply at myself and why I feel this way. Road rage is now a reflection of my way of living, and a way to show me that something is not true in myself and my world. At times when I am in the car with my children, I hear them saying things I used to say. Soon they will be driving, and road rage may be their opportunity for self-reflection, learning and letting people in, too!

256 thoughts on “Road Rage

  1. I cracked myself up one day, when one of the old abusive words came out whilst driving (‘dick-brain’ was also an old favourite…), along with the gesticulations I learnt particularly well growing up driving in the city of Melbourne, Australia (known for its ‘traffic issues’), along with something of a family history around road rage (of the more serious kind)… I cracked myself up because I was driving a former partner’s car at the time, with a super-dark tint on the windows, and all the window up, aircon on… no-one could have seen a blink of me, let alone heard what I ushered forth…
    I’d also been attending Univeral Medicine workshops for some time and recognised that I’d just gone back into the ‘old familiar’ way – and it simply wasn’t true for me AT ALL anymore… Haha… I reckon ‘dick-brain’ ushered forth just a few times after that day, and then it was done. Yes, I’d changed.
    The hands occasionally come up to gesticulate though – though I’ll honestly admit, the frustration is nowhere NEAR what it once was. It’s actually more of a way of saying ‘be careful’ to another now if I gesture anything (yes, truly…).

  2. When we bring the willingness to understand and address why we are feeling emotions such as anger and frustration, why we feel the agitation that can never truly be masked, we then can come to a settlement within ourselves and our bodies, and return to a true state of being. As such we are able to bring this quality of settlement, understanding and presence to any situation, where we are always offered the opportunity to deepen our connection to the consistency love.

  3. The fact that you are now willing to take responsibility for your own emotions is huge. We are raised in a society that normalisers blame. Regardless of how anyone else carries on, it does not give us the right or a free pass to do the same, I love that you are finding a new way on the road, for as you carve this path, it supports us all to do the same, on and off the road.

    1. One of the interesting things I’ve noticed is when someone does something unpleasant like being angry, people then react and begin being angry themselves….about the anger! This is just one example of many I’ve seen in my own and others lives, but at some point we have to cut the cycle and realise we are just adding the same harmful energy back into the mix, in a world that is already highly polluted with emotion and disturbances.

  4. Anne I love what you have shared about road rage as I was such a person too. Nowadays friends love to drive with me as I am calm and not so hectic anymore and as you have mentioned I am a human being too and sometimes old habits occur but I have to admit I really do not like it anymore as afterwards my whole body is in such an tension and stress . . . it is so much more welcome to be more responsible for how I was living before!

  5. I used to get so frustrated by slow drivers, I didn’t ever address this, but the more I enjoyed being myself the more I started to enjoy being in flow of traffic… No matter what speed it was going. Road rage is definitely a symptom rather than the main problem.

    1. I used to also get impatient with slow drivers then one day I realised that I could see and experience it as a blessing, time to slow myself down, enjoy the scenery and just accept the different pace and see what it would bring to me.

      1. Absolutely, so true. Slow drivers are a great opportunity to experience a different pace and to slow ourselves down, and most often in those moments I am often rushing or out of rhythm so these little moments of correction are super helpful.

  6. I fine as I am driving on the road I am always wanting to get ahead of the car in front of me so I can see well up ahead, possibly a bit of checking out here, as I avoid heavy traffic areas.

  7. “I let them in and let them be” I can feel the embracing of and openness to others rather than seeing everyone as a challenge in this acceptance of yourself.

  8. It is interesting how much our driving reflects us in life and hints about our relationship with evolution. We react against slow drivers, and all kind of drivers that stand in our way. We want to go fast and we make them the reason why we cannot. It is not about them, it is about us. And, the speed is only related to quality not to anything else. Only us stand in our way.

  9. Thank you Anne, this is a cracker of a line “When I blamed other people for my problems, I lived in hell” I bet a lot of people could relate to this or see that clearly in others. It’s like we set ourselves up to perpetuate our misery by blaming others, it’s the ultimate disempowerment. The true power is in responsibility, it’s not the ogre it’s made out to be, responsibility for self is actually a very loving foundation that leads to a lot of wisdom. Our life and the quality of our life is always in our own hands.

  10. This blog reminds me so much of how I have been on the road and from time to time I can fall back to old ways, which frankly isn’t nice.

    I loved the third point and a reminder for me to let people in and treat them as my equals and see it for what it is – the message may not be so obvious at the time.

  11. “Road rage is now a reflection of my way of living, and a way to show me that something is not true in myself and my world.” . . .beautiful Anne as this is the way we can look at all of life as everything is a reflection to learn from.

  12. Awesome blog, it is interesting how many people put so much energy into road rage and other strong emotions, what if the same energy was put into loving themselves and bringing that to the world… this is what you chose Anne and your reflection now has the power to inspire and ignite this change within others too – love it.

  13. Anne, this is a great blog, I too used to get road rage. I can feel now that I did not have understanding or love for myself or others and since I have been more understanding, caring and loving with me I have noticed that I no longer get frustrated on the road with others. I understand why they maybe going fast or too slow or why they suddenly turn right or stop suddenly. I have done all of these things and so I am much less judgmental now which feels great, it makes driving much less stressful and tense.

  14. Huge turn around in this article and it’s safe to go back onto the roads by the look of it. I’ve experienced this too and now have simply more understanding. At times we assume the world revolves around only what we are doing and so we get upset when others get in our way and yet we don’t realise they are moving around the same way dealing with whatever is going on for them. I have seen many times I have assumed I’ve known everything only to find out more and so in this way I’m living different which is then driving differently. I don’t assume to know from looking or reading something or by just living in my world. I open up to others, ask questions and look deeper into what I am feeling. Running around or driving like I am the only one living in the world can bring a very narrow view to things and this simply has never supported me or anyone.

  15. Righteousness is often the driver of many behaviours we see on the roads, for example, ‘You pushed in!’ might be right but does that justify being angry or frustrated about it? We don’t like the tension on the roads but how often do we add to it when we think we are right?

  16. Hmm – interesting point that made me stop. To only fit into an hour what you can do in an hour. That is a bit of a game changer for someone who is constantly trying to pack more in, running to catch up, driving too fast to not be late.

  17. Thank you for being so honest about the way you at times experienced road rage – and that you now have chosen to look beyond and no longer (to the best of your ability) blame people for those things you are feeling inside. The most loving way this actually is to be honest with oneself , so that you understand yourself more and so can let go of things that actually form a barrier within yourself and between you and other people.

  18. Frustration and cars and roads… it’s a biggie for most of us and it certainly has been for me (and sometimes still is). So what is frustration? It’s what we feel when things don’t go our way, when we don’t have control. Yes, we need to have ‘control’ of our vehicles as we drive, as in have command of them, but we don’t need to be controlling. As an antidote I find it useful to imagine me and my car as part of a giant school of fish, all swimming together, harmonious and going with the flow with a ‘live, and let live’ attitude.

  19. Letting people in … when we meet, connect and when we drive. Everything is a reflection of everything else and the all, so one instance of letting in is incomplete without all the others.

  20. When I read this blog for the first time, I could still feel the road rage existing within me and the blog helped me bring more understanding or ponder on what was being reflected to me. I read this blog for the second time and I feel more understanding in everyone around me. I observe drivers driving fast or over taking from lanes where they are supposed to turn, and despite a responsibility on their part, I now have more of an understanding of where they are at in their own lives and sharing their story through the driving – if that makes sense.

    Whats even more lovely that reading this blog for the second time (and other comments), confirms I am at a different depth of living within myself and who would have thought a blog could make a difference to ones life and living – its powerful.

  21. Anne I smiled as I read your blog, because I too have been frustrated by other drivers. It is lovely to drive now without being affected by other drivers bad habits or inconsiderate behaviour, because as soon as we react we separate ourselves from who we truly are.

  22. I always love reading this. I find myself falling into old habits of being crazy frustrated by others on the road, and let’s face it….people can be very testing! The difference now is that I notice I’ve gone into frustration the split second I’ve done it. Just that alone is enough to offer me a choice to settle down, or to keep going, and in that I also have to recognise that it is purely a choice I am making and perpetuating if I choose to go into the drama of road rage. Self reflection has been a powerful thing and an ongoing lesson in self responsibility.

  23. I now allow myself time to get to my destination on time by giving myself plenty of time, for the times I encounter someone driving 60k in an 80k zone with no space to overtake. In the past this had been one of my irritations and frustrations I had clocked this and found that I was no longer with my body but way ahead in push and drive towards my destination, and the slow driver was what was needed to slow down my drive.

  24. We lose so much of life when we make it about ourselves to the disregard of everyone else. In those moments we see ourselves as superior to others and close off from people and the reflections they bring to us.

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