Of Traffic Jams and Monkey Gods

Stillness is what creates love. Movement is what creates life. To be still and still moving - this is everything.
~ Do Hyun Choe

I can't stand traffic.
I go a bit mental.
And by a bit, I might mean very.

I've tried to figure out what exactly it is that gets me so worked up, why my heart starts racing, my blood starts pumping, and I feel like I'm losing my mind, and I've come to the conclusion that it's the stagnancy of it all. The desire or need to go somewhere, get somewhere, and the inability to move - forward, backward, whatever. I think I can't handle traffic because it reflects the stagnancy I sometimes feel in my life.

I know it sounds crazy (especially because I keep talking about other me's), but I often think about this little me that lives inside this big me, restless, paralyzed, stuck, unable to move, because the big me encases her and she cannot go anywhere. Little me screams and bangs on big me's chest and begs to come out and live fully but this big me, she just sits there, unable (and I think secretly unwilling) to move. She crosses her arms and just sits there. And I just want to shake big me and yell, "What are you waiting for?! Move, dammit! We have a finite amount of time!" But she just stares at me blankly. Frozen.

I think traffic reminds me of feeling frozen.

When my husband and I visited Kuala Lumpur, we went to see a cave temple outside of town. At the entrance to the area was a massive statue of Lord Hanuman tearing open his chest to reveal images of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. Legend has it that Lord Hanuman had immense powers, but due to a curse, he would forget about them and need to be reminded before he could use them. When Lord Ram was sent into exile for 14 years, he met Lord Hanuman, who used these powers to help them through various trials and tribulations. Lord Hanuman was such a strong devotee of Lord Ram and loved him and Goddess Sita so much that it is said they lived in his heart. And when Lord Ram returned home after having slain his demons, Lord Hanuman was there to embrace him and remain by his side.

I think I'm a little like that. If I ripped open my chest, you would see the exiled little me living in my heart, just waiting to return to the world. I want to tear away my boundaries, set her free, and let her do the great things she dreams of doing and go the great places she aches to go. And I think I forget that I have the power to do this, to do whatever I want to do and be whoever I choose to be, if only I could be reminded of it sometimes. And hopefully when my true self returns after so many years away slaying demons, I will embrace her, and we will remain side by side for some time... like maybe forever.

So this is little me reminding big me that I have the power to make a change. And though it might take me 14 years, I accept that that might be my path, and it will happen - one step at a time. After all, happiness is a journey, not a destination. And maybe sticking me in traffic is the universe's way of teaching me to appreciate the stillness of where I am instead of always needing to get somewhere else.

And maybe if I embrace this stillness, I will find what moves my heart.

How do you feel when you are faced with stillness? 


  1. Love this post. I think we all need to be reminded to enjoy the "now" rather than running towards or planning away all our tomorrows. I'm constantly struggling with this too. My little me has so many plans that big me can't keep up! Sometimes, I need to take a step back and realize I am slowly but surely accomplishing all little me's goals but at big me's pace. lol. :)

  2. "And maybe sticking me in traffic is the universe's way of teaching me to appreciate the stillness of where I am instead of always needing to get somewhere else." I love this line. Thinking I need to write it down and leave in my car to (hopefully) calm me during my daily commute!