Do you remember being a child, a yellow plastic steering wheel stacked in your lap as you rode in the car with a parent? Only in your mind you weren’t riding–you were driving. It’s an understandable mistake. You kept turning your wheel, the car kept turning its wheels, therefore you were driving the car.
But as the child grows, he gets more sophisticated. He notices something is off. Sometimes the car goes in the direction he’s steering–and sometimes it seems to altogether ignore his steering. Focusing intensely, the child really works at this project, trying to get all the details of his steering just-so. No matter how hard he tries, he simply can’t master it. He concludes he must be an inadequate driver, that he must not be trying hard enough, that maybe some people just aren’t born to “steer.”
Just when the child is about to give up, everything comes into focus in one dizzy instant: He’s not the one steering the car. He’s never going to get things right using his toy wheel. Next time the vehicle rolls to a stop, the child puts down his plastic wheel, opens the door and steps out of the car. Now he can go wherever he wants. Free of his earlier illusion, he is beginning to be an adult.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.