A man backed his vehicle into my car. I did all I could think to do in that moment -- took his insurance information, wrote down a description of his vehicle, the license plate number, time of day, address of the accident. Turns out, it would have been helpful to call the police at the scene of the incident. I didn't know this at the time, and in fact, I thought it was unnecessary to involve the law. I trusted the guy to do an upright thing and now it turns out he may be up to no good.
It's tempting to get into a lot of details with the predicament. Essentially, the tool I've so far gained from this is: when possible to safely do so, call the cops to the scene of the incident and secure a driver's license from the other party. I think I may have learned pieces of this in driver's ed and somewhere inside of decades, the information loosened from my awareness. It's refreshed and secured now!
Gah, you know -- my first response was acceptance when I realized the injustice. I get that people can make choices to avoid accountability. I've observed it happen many times and I've avoided direct interaction about uncomfortable topics. Thing is, it's rare for me to do this. So when others do it, I feel surprised. In any given moment, I do what I can and put together all of the resources I know and feel and all that... and sometimes I still come up ignorant or in another way vulnerable. Sometimes other people take advantage of my vulnerabilities and I'm not even aware that I'm displaying any. When I do realize what's happening, anger may flash. Then I quickly remind myself that I did all I could do, that in each moment, I do all I can. What more is there to do than all you can in any given situation? And I don't want to quit trusting people. I mean, certainly, I now remember this tool: Bring the law into scenes of accidents and verify driver identification. There are probably other tools I'll gain from this experience and later realize how to describe with words.
I don't want to look at it in terms of "now I'll know for next time" because I don't want to envision a next time. To me, word choice and thoughts are important. Being able to direct my thoughts or cease them altogether is a daily habit in the form of meditation. So when I start to think about this accident a lot or get into grim assessments of my abilities on account of the vulnerability I displayed in a situation unfamiliar to me, a reminder manifests: Breathe deeply. Long slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Visualize the dantian about one inch below your navel. Breathe into it and release stress from it. It sucks when life appears unfair and unjust. Sometimes situations are beyond our control and other entities may manipulate to their advantage. In these times, I like to remember to be that which I want to see in the world. "In the moments that we have and in the ones that we can yet create" (Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Liner Notes, July 10, 2016), let's trust even when we feel vulnerable and triggered. Do what you can and then allow the Dao to do the rest. It's ok to trust that it's ok and things can work out well.
Well hello there.