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!

279 thoughts on “Road Rage

  1. Traffic is a great reflection of life – the way we navigate through life equals the way we drive and vice versa hence we can learn much about ourselves on the road when we consider it to be much more than just getting from A to B.

  2. Sounds like everyone got a treat from you having this different approach in traffic/life, and your body must be thanking you as well since it takes quite a toll on the body being that in a rush all of the time.

  3. It’s so true that road rage is just a reflection of our relationship with others, as it is also a reflection of how you are with yourself too. Road rage is a mere example of the self abuse we abuse ourselves with in how we think and how we act.

  4. When we play human beings and only see cars and drivers is one thing. When we see bodies in motion interacting with each other the scene looks slightly different. It is no longer about making sure that no one stands in your way, hence you bullying others, because is no longer about you but about us.

  5. I was feeling very annoyed on the road yesterday. I was very unwell and had pushed myself to get in the car to run an errand. It seemed like every person on the road was reflecting disregard for others, Driving across 2 lanes etc. I found myself coming up with nasty ways of expressing my frustration but kept the thoughts in my head. Just thinking about insults seemed to satisfy me.

    I can now see that the people on the road were showing me that my choice to run the errand was disregarding of myself and therefore disregarding of others even though it seemed like a ‘good’ thing to do.

  6. This is such a very real sharing Anne, one that I know so many of us will relate to, I know that I can. My change in the way I drove came from understanding that everything I was feeling before I got into the car came with me and my frustration or anger was actually not with the person in front of me, they simply triggered what was sitting unresolved in my body. I absolutely love the way I drive these days, letting people in without a frisson of resentment, not worrying if I’m held up at road works and I even have come to love red lights as I know that I have a moment to stop and feel what is happening in my body at the precious moment in time.

  7. I got pulled up by an unmarked police car a couple of months ago for being an annoying driver and I said to the officer that yes, I was annoyed by the annoying driver in front of me who seemed to be blocking me from passing him and I realised that I had become the annoying driver myself. Lucky, he didn’t book me. It was a real wake-up call as you are what you see!

  8. I can very much relate to this. The way I used to experience the world was totally self-centered and that it was all against me and it was to blame for all my predicament, so learning to take responsibility for my reactions and understanding and accepting that I am in this world just like everyone else is is an ongoing process for me.

  9. What a turn-around Anne, literally. I used to sort of like being able to call people names in the car, because I thought they couldn’t hear me! A nasty kind of joy, because I did not feel too good afterwards. But I thought because I was in my safe little bubble I could do what ever I wanted, feeling invincible in my own world. Very selfish and my attitude of course was reflected in the way I drove. Serge Benhayon also showed, to put in the car metaphor, a different way. The way of love.

  10. Letting people in is so supportive, loving and evolving. It doesn’t feel natural to block anyone out because every part of us naturally wants to connect and let people in.

  11. Our frustrations and reactions are entirely our responsibility to deal with. This fact used to make me so mad! Ha! But as your blog perfectly demonstrates recognising our own responsiblity is key to true contentment and unflappability.

  12. Yes we keep it pent up throughout the day but it can really come out on the roads! Great to understand that what occurs whilst driving is more an accumulation of undealt with stuff for a while rather than the specific incident occurring on the road.

  13. I agree driving is a lesson of letting people in, being patient and consistent and steady that is what I have also learned and really enjoy driving now. I am also aware of just how many bullies are on the road driving up behind me and flashing their lights I could feel the energy of one driver tonight I really thought they were going to hit me just to get me out of the way!! So yes lessons learned all around and maybe for some people they are just not ready or do not want to learn yet!

  14. We were driving home yesterday and there was a six car accident with all the cars running into the back of each other. I hadn’t seen so many vehicles in an accident for so long and we made comment to it along those lines. From reading this article I wonder what happened there, were they travelling too close to each other or was there something else happening. From this article you can take a lot and read a lot about the way we drive and travel around. It’s not a dead end street either as each time we step into driving we have the opportunity to see more or to go about something in a different way. I love driving also and as in life there is always something we can learn no matter what our age or experience.

  15. Beautiful Anne and a great blog to read if one experiences rage on or off the road. When I accept responsibility for my own reactions I have an opportunity to let go of what is upsetting me rather than have it poison my body.

  16. Thank you Anne, it is great to be able to appreciate the opportunities we are offered to develop the relationship with self whilst driving, if we approach it with purpose- driving can be a time to regenerate and deeply connect with our soul.

  17. Every time we hop in the car we have the opportunity to check ourselves out and see where we are. A moment to really say hey where are you at. From the way we touch the steering wheel to the way we touch the gear stick to change gears. Each movement if we so choose to be aware of can reveal so much to where we are and what is going on.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. “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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. “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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

    2. If I get frustrated with slow drivers it’s like a big bell going off for me to look at. Why am I in a hurry? Is there a need to hurry? I have the choice to flow with what life presents or I can try to impose my own carved path and take that path in rush or in drive.

      1. Yeh – it’s actually an amazing feeling being in the flow of life (or traffic), it always reminds me I’m a small part of something amazing.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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…).

    1. The war in cars… Now gone. Recognize that Victoria. Now, once I get in my car, I also connect with people in other cars, heart to heart. And it expands me to be out there energetically, outside the boundaries of my own little world that is my car. Lovely feeling, still needs some active reaching out – I am working on that – at this moment time.

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