You are on your path.
It is a smooth paved road and you are cruising along with the windows down as a warm breeze ruffles your hair. The sun is shining and life is good. Up ahead you spot a traffic light, and being a law abiding citizen, you slow down and eventually stop.
You wait for a little while, but the light stays red.
Now you’re irritated.
You don’t have all day to be stuck at a traffic light and now the sun is setting and it’s starting to rain!
Cripes. You’ll never make it to where you were headed.
Life offers us traffic lights all the time. The natural response is to get irritated at the obstacle and think, “Why is this happening to me?” But what if you turned that perspective around and instead saw the obstacle as an opportunity and asked, “What is this obstacle offering me?”
There is a gift in each obstacle (whether it be a person, situation,or otherwise) and the traffic light is like your stubborn mother-in-law that insists you take all the dinner leftovers and will not let you go through until you receive the gift.
The funny thing about life is that we appreciate its gifts in hindsight, but we cannot see them for what they are in the moment. At the most we imagine we are gaining something, but cannot pin point exactly what it is.
So herein lies the value of traffic lights: Pause. Stop. Inquire.
And be grateful for the opportunity to do so.
What are the traffic lights in your life?
If you feel as though you have been at the same traffic light for an eternity, just remember, it is not only perfect for you to be exactly where you are, it is essential. Whether five seconds or five years, time is irrelevant.
Relish exactly where you are and soak up the offerings of this traffic light in your life.
Kaley is a thinker, teacher, writer, learner, artist, explorer, and yoga freak. She dances through life twirling and leaping, sometimes stumbling and all the time singing. She resides in Austin, TX, where she spends most of her time teaching young children, who consistently provide her with opportunities for wonder.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed: Wendy Keslick