My experience with motorcycles is limited to one ride. My high school self thought it was ridiculously exciting to accept an opportunity for a short ride. While I don’t recall the specific details, you can be sure I eagerly hopped on without really knowing what to expect.
The driver gave me a few pointers before starting the bike. Only half-listening, I nodded my head and motioned to get on with the ride. My enthusiasm trumped my inexperience, and I brushed off the pointers as if they were second-nature suggestions.
A few minutes into the ride, we deviated from the monotony of moving in the forward direction. I felt the turn before I saw the turn. In a flash, fear made its way into every fiber of my being, and the ride suddenly felt like a terrible idea. As the bike leaned into the turn, my body leaned out in the opposite direction. I didn’t know that what I was doing until the driver pulled the bike over, took off his helmet, and repeated his previous words of instruction.
Lean into the turn. If I turn right, lean your body in the same direction. His words sounded right, but my instinct was to fear the nearness of the pavement and lean out of the turn. It wasn’t until I received the second line of instruction that something clicked. Trust me. Don’t let fear drive you to protect yourself. What I thought was an act of protection was dangerous.
As I listened, I realized this wasn’t a lesson strictly for being a passenger on a motorcycle. The words spoken informed my life on a much deeper level. From the earliest I can recall, trust has been hard for me. I lean out of relationships when they feel dangerously close to disappointing me. I lean out of confidence if I sense dissatisfaction from those I hold in high esteem. I lean out of dreaming when physical needs demand my attention.
Trust is still challenging for me. I want to lean into the turns as they come, but there are plenty of times I feel myself leaning out of the turn.
The driver said one more thing to me that evening. He told me that leaning out of the turn could cause us to crash. Funny…that was the very thing I was trying to avoid.
Life feels like one giant right turn right now. Maybe you can relate. When fear petitions for me to trust myself, I do a lot of leaning out. While leaning out may be instinctual, it isn’t natural. When I leaned out of the turn on the motorcycle, it felt as awkward as putting a left shoe on a right foot.
As we made our way toward home that night, I was a better rider. When turns came, I closed my eyes, held on, and leaned in. I decided to trust the driver and his experience over my limited knowledge. It was a good move.
I still carry those words of instruction close to my heart. Lean into the turn. Trust me. As the roads of life continue to dip and turn, I’m trying to stay present in the moment. I’m leaning in when it feels unnatural. I’m trusting when it seems counterintuitive.
This isn’t easy for me, so I spend an absurd amount of time reminding myself. Lean into life’s turns and exercise trust.
#momentoftruthmonday #leanintotheturn #trust #rulesoftheroad #lifelesson