In my ManKind Project weekly iGroup, I work on owning my actions and intentions, and then looking at how they played out; did it work for me or not. I look at the shadow intention behind what I did or didn't do; what was at work that I was not conscious of at the time...and how that played out. In that light, I have a story to tell.
Over the last three years, I have biked to work all but a handful of days. I ride about three miles one-way. I have a basket attached to the bike rack on the back so that I can carry my bag or lunch or whatever. The basket hangs off the left side of the bike rack.
Over this entire time, the basket has moved forward about a half-inch and sometime hits the heel of my left foot when I peddle by. Now this is a bit annoying at times, so I kick it back and I say to myself "I really need to fix that dang basket." For three years I have been saying this to myself.
Last week, my wife borrowed my bike to ride to her ballet class. Now she knows that the basket hits her foot sometimes; she knows how to give it "the kick." So she gets on and rides off at a pretty good clip; she loves her ballet and rides fast as a general rule. About a block away her shoe starts clipping the basket...she looks down to see that the basket needs "the kick"...so she kicks it...looks down and kicks a couple more times...and is pitched off the bike onto her left side.
She lands with all her weight collected on her left shoulder and side, down her left hip and thigh, and slammed her helmeted head on the ground. She lays there for a moment and a women jogs up and helps her by running back to my house to get me.
To make a long story shorter, we spend the next four hours in the ER...broken left elbow, deep thigh and hip bruise, broken upper left rib; no head injury (if you think you can ride without a helmet, IMJ, you are an selfish statistic waiting to happen).
So for the next week, I am mostly home during the busiest time of my job taking care of her and my two girls.
I feel sadness and shame that I did not take care of this. I own that I put this off because "I don't have the time right now." The shadow is that I don't take care of myself, first. If I had, I would have moved the basket further back and secured it better three years ago; my best friend would not have been hurt (and still hurting). I own that the basket is a reminder of how I let other things get in front of taking care of me.
I hope you never have to run down a bike path and see your best-friend, your dream-come-true, your wife, your children's mother, crumbled up on a bike path, crying and really hurt. I hope you take care of "the basket."
The sadness is deep and painful. My actions have consequences...pain is powerful one. I feel sorry that my actions hurt my best friend.
I am sorry, dear friend.