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The Automobile Junk Yard

In my teens, on many occasions I would go to the auto junk yard to get parts for various cars I owned. On one such occasion I went to a yard that I had never been to before.

I explained to the man at the desk what I needed and he pointed to a pole with a scrap of yellow cloth, way out at the back of the lot. He told me to head out to the pole and a yard mechanic would meet me there to remove the part I needed from the wrecked car.

I headed out the door, heading in the direction I thought best. Down the first "lane" I took, I ran into a wall of stacked cars, forcing me to turn to the right or the left. I can't remember which way I turned, but I turned and followed that "lane" until I ran into another wall of cars. I took another turn and followed that lane to another wall of cars, and so on. This was the only route I could figure out to get to the pole with the yellow flag on it.

Over the course of my wandering, I "accidently", on two occasions, ran into junk-yard dogs that were chained up for the day. They were big, mean, hungry-looking, and ready to rip me in a thousand pieces if they could have gotten free of their chains. It didn't take me long to back-track out of those lanes.

Eventually, over the space of nearly 30 minutes, I found my way to the yellow flagged pole. The mechanic was just finishing removing the part I needed. The front desk had sent him out shortly after I had left. With a smile on his face, he asked what had taken me so long.

I explained what had occurred, and he laughed and asked me if this was my first time to this yard. I agreed.

He told me there was a direct route back to the front office, and that I should follow him. The path turned out to be nearly straight through the stacked cars. As we were walking, he joked that nearly everyone who comes the first time runs into the same problems I had.

He said in the past they used to explain to people how to get through the cars, but had stopped because no matter how well they thought they explained it, most people, there for the first time, still got lost. Now, they just point to whatever pole is closest to where they need to go, and let the first-timer find their way there. On the way back they show them the straight path back to the front office. As we walked, he showed me the straight paths back to the front from all directions. As I thanked the mechanic and took my part to enter the front building, I looked back down the lane we had come, and saw directly to the pole with the yellow flag on it.

That day, I learned a lesson they had come to understand about humans. On subsequent visits back to that junk yard, I never lost my way again, and was able to move directly to the areas I needed to go.

I don't exactly recall what prompted this long-buried memory the other day, but it had something to do with an idea on my mind about how, among our junky thinking patterns, there are always straight paths through to our common sense, and to simple profound solutions to our "problems" in life.

There was a powerful link between my thought the other day, and my old memory of the junk yard. It is proof of the profound, deep, infinite wisdom in our minds, and how it uses all our memories and experiences, even forgotten ones, to teach us and show us new living experiences of life.

This experience reminded me that no matter how many times we show one another the "straight" path, many, because of our thinking, wander off into strange and possibly dangerous (remember the dogs) paths. It reminded me that many of us, because of our belief in the truth of our memories, become confused, blinded, rigid, and certainly lost when we attempt to use them to solve "unsolvable" problems and circumstances in our lives.

The direct way is the best way. For all the obvious reasons. It saves time. It keeps us from danger. It removes confusion, illusions and delusions. Because we are free of uncertainty, mental chaos and insecurities, we are creative and responsive to our life events. We are happy because we are not afraid. We are loving because we are not concentrating on our fear. We are resilient because we are not frozen in our personal victimizing drama.

Our innate wisdom, creativity, responsiveness, happiness, loving-ness, and resiliency make us powerful. These traits keep us in the moment–willing participants in life–no matter what is happening around us. Instead of having problems in life, we are awakened to an exploration of the opportunities, choices, and experiences presented. We walk solidly through life, our feet soundly set against the storms of life. Common sense, faith, hope and love are our guides and the source of all of our answers.

Unlike my experience in the junk yard, where I had to keep moving, looking, exploring and learning from my mistakes, our innate thinking operates only when we stop, relax, and listen. That's all. No fumbling around. No trying to figure things out. Instead of busily looking for a way to go, or a way out, as with the junk yard, our path to our wisdom and common sense, emerges as we stand still and quiet our minds. The direct way will open to us. The map is already there, the directions to read the map, and everything needed to follow the map are available to us in that quietude.

There are even instructions on how to get away from big, mean, junk yard dogs.

D. Tully


Phoenix Counseling-L.I.F.E. Programs Las Vegas, NV  © 2012
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