Nomalanga: Lessons Learned From a Near Death Experience

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scared womanBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Some years ago I was driving at 80miles per hour on the highway when I heard a strange noise and then suddenly my car went out of control! I did my best to get to the extreme right where I could stop on the side of the road. In the mean time, all I could hear was a loud, piercing screeching noise as I and, I imagine, the cars around me slammed our feet on the brakes. Moments later, my car was safely parked on the break-down lane as if I had just slowly pulled over and stopped there.

I had just experienced my first tire burst.

When ever I find myself in the middle of a crisis, this forms an image in my mind of that incident with my car veering out of control while the screeching noise pierces through the air!

The first thing I do, just as I did then, is take a deep breathe and express gratitude-I am alive and I don’t have a single scratch on me.

The next step is to deal with the situation at hand. When my car finally came to a stop, I was understandably shaking uncontrollably but I still pulled out my little cell phone and called my insurance company for “Road Side Assistance”. Before they had even arrived, the Highway Samaritans came to my rescue. They changed out the busted tire and put in the spare tire. Again, I paused for a moment of gratitude: “I am so grateful that when I bought this car, it came with a spare tire because I did not know enough then to check and make sure.”

As I got back on the road, I started on the final step, I started to reflect on what had just happened. I had just experienced my first tire burst while I was behind the wheel. How did this happen and more importantly what could I have done differently?

Well, before that day, some time earlier that year I was driving with one of my friends and she remarked how fast I drove and even more astonishing to her, was that I just drove over pot holes and bumps at high speeds. “That could cause a tire burst!” Those were her exact words.(No she did not curse me!) Looking back, I realized that this was the first Whisper…

Upon further reflection and recollection, I remembered my mechanic, Fernando, telling me that it would probably be a good idea to replace the tires on my car; the second Whisper…

Just a few days prior to the tire burst incident, yet another one of my friends had told me he didn’t think it was wise to drive as recklessly as I did. He was saying these words in a cool and calm tone but this was a loud and stern warning. This is typically the last point between the whispers and the unfolding of an incident; a crisis!

A few days later it was a loud, blood curdling scream; the tire burst!

The lesson? We must all learn to hear the quiet whispers. If we don’t, they will get louder and louder and LOUDER, until they are a a loud, eardrum bursting scream!

Since that incident, I have learned to listen to the Whisper. The Whisper comes in so many forms. For example, I have experienced disappointment in other people’s actions and often I will say, “I should have taken notice of the signs”. In many relationships, people tell us who they are right from the very first conversation; they whisper at us. It is not always easy to discern the message behind the Whisper, but we should, at the very least, take the time to listen; listen to the whisper. There is an inner knowing that we often ignore but that is the very voice that whispers to us. Those whispers have a wisdom hidden in them that can not be explained, but at the same time can not be denied.

How many times have you looked back at a situation and wondered what you could have done differently? Sometimes the only thing we need to do differently is listen and then act upon the information we hear. The most important step to take is to LISTEN.

Next time you find yourself in the middle of a crisis, remember the three basis steps:

1.Take a deep breathe and express gratitude-there is Always something to be grateful for, even in the middle of a crisis. This is important because it allows us to draw positive energy towards ourselves.

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