A thought is present in a series of gifts that when opened lets us see the world in different lights. Like when the morning sun shines through cracks and crevices that fade during a full reveal. In its fullness, the light exposes details previously unseen. This has been one of those weeks, a week of shadows and highlights streamed with significant insight.

Saturday. My grandson faced the fragile nature of his confidence and the power of his inner voice. The thin façade of a delicate confidence cracked, then shattered as those who loved him ached to hold the pieces. Adults know they can bear the weight of the pain much better. Helpless is the observers. Holding space permits the injured ego to recover and emerge in a greater way.

Tuesday morning. The flashing lights of the fire engine drew my attention down to the fallen pedestrian being attended to by four uniformed helpers. They formed a protective circle around her broken body to care for and access the situation. Traffic slows, and drivers check to make sure the victim is a stranger. Prayers for a quick recovery and thanksgiving for a continued journey. The driver of the car stood helplessly on the sidewalk with their thoughts. Trying to make sense of a right turn when the left was clear of oncoming traffic. Where did the pedestrian come from? The mysteries of our blind spots. Oh, to have that moment of judgment to do over again.

Tuesday afternoon. A single line of cars eased over the hill toward the traffic light, traveling many miles slower than the posted speed limit. This is the time of day to get home not dawdle. So it seemed as the black truck crossed the yellow line only to pull back into traffic forcing the small beige car off the road. The quick manner in which the driver exited his car added to the rise of concern. Traffic goes no faster than the car in front and the truck threatened common sense. As fast as the incident occurred, it resolved. All those concerned were back in traffic, driving to their final destination.

Thursday, a young man walked down the sidewalk with his left arm bent and his wrist weak with his hand dangling. There was no doubt that the young man lived with a challenge. A moment of curiosity about his life and wondering what could be different … was interrupted.

These examples illustrate an opportunity to explore where thoughts travel. Next time a situation, not of your doing, shakes your sense of being, ask yourself if your thoughts serve you or the other? Was I feeling my grandson’s discomfort or my own? Was I concerned about the woman thrown to the pavement or my inconvenience? Was I anxious about the drivers or my fear? Was I sympathetic of the young man’s life or avoiding gratitude?

A little awareness of motivation lightens the load, leaving the way open to serve a greater good. To allow another to wrestle with their own demons without the weight of another’s emotion is a gift. To create thoughts of healing for all parties. To continue the flow of care and full attention. To breath into action with a sense of patience and flexibility. To know there are many roads available to experience adventure. As George Washington says in the commercial, “We’ve all got places to go.”