Why I'm Grateful I Got Hit by a Car
Ever feel like you are alone? Like no one would care if you just disappeared or that your life didn’t make a difference? I often would say to others, if “I died tomorrow it would not matter”. This was something that I remember thinking as a kid and was a subconscious mantra that would replay in my mind as an adult. Fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to find out the answer to that very question...
“Move, MOVE, MOVE! NOOOOOOOOOO!” my father yelled as he waved his arms at me. He just finished paying the cashier at a NYC indoor parking garage and turned around to talk to me. I was walking towards him, my back to his car. The parking attendant wanting to give “good service” (his words) was backing the car up towards the cashier to make it “easier” for us to pick it up. I looked at my father confused, then I feel a jolt as the car bumper struck the back of my thighs. I felt the force push my whole body forward. I imagine my body looking like one of those slow motion car safety videos you watch as a kid. The video warns you of the dangers of not wearing your seat belt. Only I’m not in a car and this is not a video, it’s real life. I see my body snap forward like a snake ready to go after its prey and I magically land on my feet. The car stops. For a moment, I’m stunned, processing what just really happened. It’s true, you don’t feel any pain while adrenaline is pumping through your veins. Then a split second later, I hear my father start yelling at the parking attendant. I calmly catch my bearings and figure out what to do next.
After that everything starts moving really fast. 911, police show up, the fire department, information is exchanged, incident reports written, then an ambulance ride to the hospital. I’m in the hospital laying on a stretcher with a neck brace on, then it finally hits me. I burst into tears, the adrenaline has stopped running through my veins. I feel the tightness and pain that has become very familiar to me these past few weeks, slowly starting at my neck and radiating down my back. I repeat out loud that mantra that has played out in my head for years to my father “If I died, it would not matter and noone would care” and start crying harder feeling the pain of those words. My father is there still in shock and looks at me with eyes of compassion. In my mind I start reflecting on what I have “accomplished” in my life. I feel like all of it is not good enough and I haven’t really lived my life yet.
Then a memory comes back to me, I’m 8 years old, at my aunt’s home. She is standing in front of her closet. She turns around to face me and says the words that I have been saying my whole life, “If I die tomorrow it would not matter and no one would care”. She was younger than I am now and I remember not really understanding the meaning of those words until that very moment. I came to recognize that those words were not mine at all. Those words were somehow implanted deep into my subconscious and I believed them to be true.
I’m snapped back to reality by my father. He turns to me and says “That is not true, we all would care if something bad happened to you”. In that moment, I finally see my true Self for the first time. I stop feeling sorry and start feeling an immense sense of gratitude. My heart filled up with a deep knowing and love that I have never experienced before.
Then I start to recount all the moments in my life where I felt abandoned...being the last one chosen on the team...being compared...feeling like I failed at something because it was easier than believing I am worthy. All these small moments that helped reinforce I don’t matter. I now see that they never were real at all.
Now it’s your turn, have you ever felt like you don’t matter? Have you ever experienced an event that changed the way you interacted with yourself and your world? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
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