Before last week’s flight to Mexico, I checked my bag at the airport.
When I retrieved my suitcase later, a wheel was missing.
It was a bizarre sight…it immediately reminded of what it might feel like if a wheel was missing from my car.
“Someone did this intentionally,” I thought. It was a knee-jerk idea, an instant reaction.
I was bummed. I’d had that suitcase for six years, and it had been in perfect condition.
Honestly, the missing wheel put a damper on my mood. I felt myself sinking into victim mode… like “Fuck this whole trip because my suitcase is broken.” I couldn’t roll it properly on the ground. I made Dan switch me with his suitcase.
Later I thought about my reaction. I was determined not to let the missing wheel destroy my vacation in Mexico.
There was no proof that anyone intentionally took my wheel off. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.
Many years ago, Dan worked as a ramp coordinator (they put all the suitcases in the bottom of the plane). He said maybe it was just rough handling that caused the wheel to break off.
My mind wanted to turn it into some kind of conspiracy. Somebody “did this to me.”
Fast forward a week later (after a very successful, bliss-filled vacation in Mexico…thank you very much), this morning I had a dream that my car was parked in a weird location, in a shitty part of Westminster, CO. In the dream, the hood of my car was gone — and everything under the hood was gone! Including the engine and all the parts.
Somebody had stolen everything under the hood!
However, my wheels — custom ones I had installed two years ago — were still there.
“Who would steal engine parts off a 20-year-old car and leave the wheels?” I wondered in the dream.
In the dream, I was sad and felt victimized again. I thought, “I love the ‘hum’ of my engine when I drive…there’s no way I could replace that even with replacement parts.”
Dreams are symbolic, of course.
Everything (and everyone) in your dreams represents some aspect of your own psyche that your subconscious mind is trying to work through.
The engine could represent my motivation and sense of purpose. If that’s “gone,” then I can’t go anywhere in life.
The parked car could represent a feeling of passivity, of not going anywhere. (It could also represent a need for me to sit still and just “be” with life.)
Upon waking, I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing “It was just a dream.” My car was safely parked in its usual spot with nothing stolen.
But the symbolic meaning was still haunting me.
We’ve had cars stolen and broken into in our family, and that’s kind of a scary experience when it happens. We tend to associate our car with freedom, mobility, and a sense of independence — and if someone fucks with that, it can trip up your mind momentarily.
I asked for spiritual guidance on the dream. The answer I got was, “Nobody can take anything from you that’s truly yours.”
After pondering that for a bit, I realized it’s true. Nobody has the power to “take” or steal anything meaningful away from you. It’s just not possible.
Marketing books often talk about how businesses should “crush the competition” and “dominate the marketplace” — but these ideas are ridiculous. They imply that “competitors” can steal customers away from you, and vice versa. That’s ludicrous.
Your only competition is who you were yesterday. Your only “threat” is your own mind’s tendency to succumb to fear. The only person who could possibly fuck up your business (and your life) is you.
In the end, I was mad at my broken suitcase for maybe an hour or two… but I got over it.
I didn’t allow it to ruin my trip to Mexico. Quite the contrary, the vacation turned out to be one of the best travel experiences of my life.
We are the master of our own experience, whether we realize it or not.