Elle Potter

mildly hilarious, exceptionally fun, and usually barefoot.

Groundhog Day – or, More Broken Glass

I just ran across this old blog post from exactly three years ago today… Thought I would re-share.  It’s interesting to me to look back on that day three years ago, knowing what was making me feel vulnerable and exposed in my personal life, and feel the lightness on my shoulders when I realize that those issues no longer plague me.  But still – some of the thoughts hold very true even today.

On Wednesday morning two weeks ago, I walked out to my car to leave for work.  I remember looking at my sunvisor and thinking, “I don’t remember leaving that down.”  I walked up to the passenger side and wondered when I had taken everything out of my glove compartment and scattered it all over the seat.  Squatting down to try and figure out what was going on, I discovered a broken window.

Someone had straight up broken into my poor little Saturn!

I’d never had a car broken into before, and I wasn’t quite sure how to react.  I was shaking, crying, yelling, and annoyed, feeling completely violated and vulnerable.  And perhaps to make things even more frustrating, I found myself angry that they hadn’t even taken anything!  The back of my car was full of STUFF – a bin of clothes en route to the Goodwill, a box of Bhagavad Gitas and journals, stacks of blankets and yoga mats, a collection of yoga music – and none of those things had been touched.

I cleaned the shards of glass out of the back of my car, had the window replaced, picked up and dusted off my ego, and moved on.

The following Wednesday, I walked out to my car to discover my window had been broken out again.  Same window – the little one that costs an arm, a leg, and your faith in the greater good of mankind.  I stood in the middle of the road asking a million questions, making a million assumptions, and saying a million nasty words as Lara stood on the sidewalk wrapped in a towel, dripping wet from being mid-shower.

This time, they HAD rifled through the bag of clothes and the stacks of books.  They even went through my trunk, pulling out the stack of Mexican Blankets I was transporting as props.  But again – nothing was taken.

And now – now it’s Tuesday night.  I’m afraid to go to bed.  I parked my car around the block, showered it with all the Om Namah Shivaya’s I could muster.  I fear Wednesday mornings.  Dad offered to sit on my front porch tonight, just to keep an eye out.

I had forgiven the bugger who had broken the window the first time.  Probably shouldn’t have kept all my stuff sitting on the backseat, I thought.  Probably looks interesting to anyone shining in a quick flashlight.  Probably assumed that there was something worth money in there for them to pawn off for quick cash.  Well, I’ve learned my lesson, I’d say to myself.  If you leave things laying around that look intriguing, someone’s likely to come around and want more.

But then – to have it done again?  To have “learned my lesson” but not abided by my own advice quickly enough to remove the piles of things from my car made me feel like a complete fool.

When you leave things out in the open, you make yourself vulnerable to passers-by.  You run the risk that someone might find some interest in the things you say, the ideas you share, and they might stick around to see if there’s more.  Some folks will inquire lovingly; others will press their way into your life, refusing to take no for an answer.

In the meantime, because you lay things out in the open, anyone has the opportunity to rifle through your knowledge, your beliefs, your hopes, your dreams, your fears… your EVERYTHING.  When you put it out there, you give a lot of people the opportunity to pick up on it.

I can’t leave in fear because I worry someone will come break back into my life.  I will take the appropriate precautions to protect myself now based upon the lessons I’ve learned (the hard way) but the chance still remains that someone may do it again.  And it may mean that someone rushes into my life, rifles through everything I’ve got and decides it’s not interesting enough so they hightail it out of there before they get caught.  Or it may mean that someone gets just what they’ve been looking for.  Or maybe someone will let me offer to open the door for them, ask if they can have a look around, and give something to share in return.

Living a deep and open life has its risks.  And while I don’t recommend putting all of your worldly belongings in your car, what is the importance of keeping your opinions and emotions stored away?  The right person comes along, and BAM – everything you thought was locked up safe is out in the middle of the street.

It’s scary.  But it’s time to forgive those who have imposed upon you – without them, you would not be reminded of the things that they could never take with them:  your own innate knowledge of who you are, who you are not.  What is important to you, what is not.

It’s inevitable – someone will find you interesting, come into your life, rifle through your emotions, your strengths, your loves, your advice, values, and support.  Some might take what they needed and run with it.  Or they may decide they don’t want any of it.  Or you may decide you’re happy to share it, regardless of the outcome.

This is your opportunity to decide what it is you want to put out there.  Do you want to display that you’re a caring, loving soul, but be bitter and resentful when too many people try to draw from that pool?

For me – my car is cleaned out.  There’s hardly a hint left behind in my car of my life.  I have retreated a bit from keeping it all out in the open because I fear who will come along next.  For the time being, it’s the best thing I can do for myself – those little windows that they keep coming through are expensive to replace.  And my poor little Saturn can only take so much.

Posted in Making a Change and the good kind of love by Elle on September 9th, 2012 at 8:27 pm.

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