I knew where I wanted to go — I needed to back out of the grocery store parking lot so I could go home — but a big delivery truck pulled in behind me. And the driver proceeded to go forward a few feet, then back up a little, then drive a bit forward — again and again, as he tried to line the huge truck up so that he could back into the delivery loading dock. The problem was that he acted like he was all alone in the parking lot. Cars backed up, wanting to turn onto the aisle where I was parked, and I couldn’t back out of my parking space without risking the truck suddenly moving forward and clipping me.
Each time it looked like he had backed enough away from me that I could safely reverse and leave, as soon as I backed up a little bit, he suddenly drove forward, and I had to hastily throw my car in “drive” and scoot back into my space. This went on a few times, until I realized that he simply was not going to let me out. He was determined to position himself to back up the entire length of the parking lot, and it was my bad luck to be in his way.
There was nothing to do. Even though no one was parked directly in front of my car, I couldn’t drive out by going forward because there was a concrete block preventing me from going straight — a handy thing most of the time, because it acts as a “brake” so you don’t nudge into the car on the adjacent aisle that’s parked facing you. To the left of me was the area where you return your shopping carts. To the right of me was another parked car.
I was neatly blocked in. Trapped. At the mercy of the truck driver, who remained intent on going back and forth a few yards at a time. I don’t know if he was an inexperienced driver, if he simply hadn’t noticed me, or if he didn’t care. Hard to tell! This was a huge delivery truck. I’m not talking about a pickup truck that I could’ve scooted around. I couldn’t even see the truck driver’s face — he was so high above me that I was like an ant from his perspective.
The whole incident probably only lasted two or three minutes, but it made me think of how many times in life someone else is blocking you, preventing you from going where you think you need to go at this particular time.
When that happens, pause and think for a moment. Use the time to evaluate where you’re headed and whether it’s still what you want. Don’t just stir in your frustration so that your only thoughts are ones of anger and annoyance that someone has dared to block you. Take it as a gift from the universe, a chance to be sure you are on the right road. You might find that when you stop and look at the situation, you’ll realize that what you had planned isn’t in your best interest — it needs to be tweaked.
As I sat there, waiting for the way to be clear for me to back out and proceed on my way, I realized I could take a shortcut home and just bypass the other store I had planned to go to. It was on my list, but because I had this enforced “breather” I realized I had bought enough items already and could make do without another purchase.
You might find that when you are blocked, it’s a symbol of a much bigger problem you haven’t addressed. Taking time to evaluate the situation will help you see what steps you need to take next, what information you need to bring clarity to the situation, what feedback someone else can give you.
While waiting to back out my car, I noticed the driver waiting for my space was also just waiting, watching the truck driver, apparently patient to let the process unfold (I say “patient” because if they were impatient, they kept it inside — there wasn’t any horn honking, or impatient gesturing or waving at me to hurry and back out!)
Next time you feel blocked, instead of simply reacting with frustration, determine if there’s a hidden message for you. You just might find that you’re being given a tool to help you pick where you should go next, and it might not be exactly where you had initially planned.
Expand your thinking to encompass change, and the times when you are “blocked” will feel empowering instead of annoying.
your happiness guru,