I was thinking about relationships when this metaphor came to mind. Allow me to paint a picture.
Picture a relationship between two people as a ride in a car. A relationship can be between any two people, but for the sake of this example we will say that the man is the driver and the woman is the passenger.
In a car, there are some things that are in place to keep you safe. There are seatbelts, airbags and door-locks. In comparison, the seatbelts would be trust, airbags would be emotional support and door-locks would be communication. These are some of the things that are necessary to keep a relationship together. So, if you are not keeping these things in the forefront of your relationship, you are both riding in a car without seatbelt, airbags and no locks on your doors. Any obstacles or impact will find someone injured. Would you have your partner or family riding in a car with no seatbelts, airbags or locked doors?
Now, the route that you are traveling on is supposed to get you home. Home is a true, loving relationship with two people who understand and appreciate one another for their strengths and weaknesses. Along that route, you may plan for a wedding and even pick up some kids. The passenger may be anxious to get home, but is always at the mercy of the driver. The driver may want to continue to make unexpected stops, take detours and get lost trying to go his own way instead of following his inner GPS . The driver may try to convince the passenger to ride in the backseat while he picks up potentially dangerous or unnecessary people instead of focusing on going home.
This creates fights between the passenger and driver. Both would like to have a safe and relaxing drive home, but they can’t agree on how to get there. At times, the passenger may switch seats with the driver so she can relax and have some control over the ride. Eventually, the driver may agree and tell her that he understands where they are trying to go. She will allow him to drive again, but they may continue to drive in the same circles over and over without even realizing it.
So, again, imagine this car ride. The driver and the passenger are at odds and the car isn’t safe. They can’t get to the wedding or pick up the kids until they agree on how to get there. They will never get home unless they work together. She can’t relax until the driver is focused on where they need to go. The kids shouldn’t be in a car that has no seatbelts, airbags or door locks. And they are also on the road with other cars that can collide into your car at any moment and create an even bigger mess on the road.
The next time you are in a car as a passenger, think about how much trust you place in the driver that you will get to where you are supposed to be. The next time you are in the car as a driver, think about how much you care about getting your passenger to your destination safe. Would you strip your car of everything it needs to get both of you where you need to be? What would you do if your car broke down or needed repair? Would you take it to a professional? Do you get a tune-up? What are things you do to make sure that you keep your car in working condition and safe for anyone that agrees to take a ride with you?
Now, think about your relationship. Where are you driving your relationship? Does it have all it needs to protect the people in it and affected by it? Can you do more? Does it have trust, emotional support and communication? Give your relationship what it needs to survive anything that might be an obstacle. Your goal is to make a home for your relationship, but only you and your partner can decide if you will ever get there.
“No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys.”- Doug Horton