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!

245 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.

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