“F#CK! YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!” he yelled. Oddly, the expletive and the rant were directed at me. A man yelled that from the window of his truck traveling the opposite direction from me.
We were not sharing a lane. I was biking uphill, my bike heavily loaded with groceries. He was driving downhill, traveling in the opposite direction.
Now I do not love biking in the middle of the lane regardless of whether or not a dedicated bike lane is available (it was not today). Today was a different day altogether. High winds spreading the smoke in Portland from the nearby fires were in full swing. There were broken tree brunches towards the right side of each street’s direction making that area dangerous and impassable by bike. That is what I saw before I made the decision to bike in the middle of my lane (NOT the road:-)). Still, I did not want to slow anyone behind me down so I carefully pulled over to the side and let every car behind me pass. Seeing the now completely empty lane behind me, I hopped back on my bike and pedaled uphill in the middle of my empty lane. The uphill bike ride was safe and peaceful… until I was jerked out of my Zen by the man yelling and cursing at me. It took me a couple of seconds to realize he was, indeed, yelling at me (there were still zero cards behind me going my direction).
I am grateful for what happened next. I have to admit that my first response was to pull (you know which one) finger at the dude. By the time my brain realized he was yelling at me, however, I had biked well past him and the finger would simply had confused and unnecessarily agitated the other motorists facing me. I felt my body pulsating from what my brain had interpreted as hurt and injustice. This is when I realized I need that OUT of MY body.
So, I straightened my shoulders, took a deep inhale and exhaled. I then (briefly while still biking) placed my left hand on my solarpexus chakra area. And I said outloud. “Dear Universe, I give this man to YOU. He is YOURS to deal with.” And I watched myself smile with relief. And, just like that, my stress melted away. The man’s aggression was not mine to handle any longer.
I do not know what was going on through the man’s mind when he yelled at me. I never will. While I did have a few seconds of judgement directed at him (“What kind of driver yells at a biker??”), I no longer feel any judgement or resentment towards him. I understand these are very rough times for anyone. Perhaps, he needed some help from the Universe today. This is what I meant that I “released” him to her. Let HER help him. I, a mother safely biking groceries to my family, cannot. I trust that he finds the help he needs. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind all the Beautiful People out there to #feedyourgutbrain. In order to feel grounded and safe. Please take care of yourselves. It is not selfish, it is necessary. You need to feel strong in order to be kind to others. It is harder to do and needed more than ever.
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