On Tuesday evening, my friend Grace and I stood in a restaurant parking lot looking at my smashed in driver's seat window. Fragments of glass hung from the corner of the window and shards covered my entire front seat. A favorite black purse, a gift from my boyfriend, was gone. As I dialed 911 and worked through tears, the first thing that flashed into my mind was: what did I do to deserve this?
After what felt like a forever conversation with the police, the blue garbage bag taping up of my window and the understanding that I would have to deal with it the next day, I fell asleep that night thinking about the purse. Why did I leave it out in plain sight? There's only one like it in the world...it was a gift from someone I deeply loved, it had my initials engraved, its worn creases in the strap from carrying too many things in it, the powder in the bottom of it from a makeup brush. As I tried reflecting on not wanting to care about material things, the questions popped into my mind again: why me? Why now? Why my car? Why that parking lot? Why couldn't anyone tell me, what did I do to deserve this?
"We don't have glass appointments in your area. You will have to drive it elsewhere."
I covered the leftover shards on my front seat with a jacket and sat to drive it across a couple towns to get a new window put in. I kept looking in my rear-view mirror to see my mom and sister following me in their car and waving, reassuring me as pieces of glass rattled inside my door. That person needed the purse more than you. You can get a new tribal ID when you go back this summer. Your work will get you a new FOB to open the office doors. Tomorrow is a new day.
"That'll be $341.31. How would you like to pay?"
But someone I don't know wrecked my window - why am I paying for this?
"Someone attempted to use your card here? I don't know when the owner will be in. I can leave your name and phone number on a sticky note?"
But someone I don't know tried to pump gas with my credit card - can't you call him now?
"We'll have to transfer and close out your entire account and you'll have to reroute any automatic payments - can you sign here?"
But this is out of my control - what did I do to deserve this?
I left the bank at 5:00 p.m. and walked out to my repaired car and thought about my options. I had gone through every emotion that day - mad at the amount of money spent on a new window, sad that someone had violated my space, happy that nothing worse had happened. I thought about the people who had helped me -my family for being there every step of the way, my friends and boyfriend for emotional support, my office for being understanding and apologetic, the waiter at the restaurant who spent the entire time I talked to the police trying to pick glass out of my car. I thought about driving with my mom to pick up my car after its repairs as she talked about forgiveness from her favorite book, A Course In Miracles. She told me about the idea of "heaven" as a decision, here and now, that you must make for yourself - your own feelings about yourself and your circumstances every day, that experiencing joy and happiness is within our control. She told me it was my choice to feel however I needed to feel about what had happened. I silently forgave whoever broke into my car. I stopped asking so many questions of myself. I couldn't answer them and I knew I had to get out of my negative space and choose to have a better moment - I was able to afford a new window. I had a new window. No one I loved was hurt. It was just a car. It was just a purse. Tomorrow is a new day.
"Hello, this is Megan...I received a missed call from this number?"
"Oh yes, I'm actually calling for my dad, he only speaks Spanish, but he's here with me. I think he found your purse on the side of the road in the bushes near his work, it looks like someone tossed it there. Your wallet, your checkbook - everything seems to still be in there. How can we get it back to you?"
A new and full of miracles kind of day.
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