by Liz Jansen
Saturday is Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. One need look no further than the relationship between motorcycle and rider to glimpse what is as close to a perfect relationship as there is. It has to be. Aside from the initial passion that attracts us, learning to work together is a matter of survival. Follow these tips to enjoy robust relationships all year long!
We affect many lives beyond our own. A single act of kindness is remembered forever. Conversely, actions of others, a momentary lapse of judgment, an unexpected curve, construction, detours, or even weather can dramatically change our course.
As living beings on this earth, we share a common spirit and a common source of power. Allowing ourselves to accentuate our differences—gender, age, culture, or values—separates us. Looking for what we have in common creates harmony and strengthens us all.
Motorcycles are non-judgmental, accepting, and open to new experiences. Following their example can teach us much about co-creating harmony in relationships.
- Accept people the way they are. Bikes don’t judge, discriminate, or ask you to change who you are. There are also many unique kinds of bikes. None is intrinsically better, but each is better for a specific type of ride and rider. Likewise, each person has distinct attributes and qualities and is equipped for a specific purpose. It may not fit with your interests, but that doesn’t make their role any less significant than yours. Respect who they are, even if you don’t like them. It will encourage them to do the same.
- Give everyone a fair chance. A motorcycle will go with anyone. If it’s not a fit for the rider, that’s another issue, but the bike is willing to give it a go. Obvious safety issues aside, it’s an important lesson in learning to go beyond the superficial and not make assumptions.
- Lighten up. Within the bounds of safety, don’t take yourself and others so seriously. There’s no doubt that life can be challenging, but a healthy sense of humor diffuses a lot of negativity.
- Ride your own ride. Trying to make a big touring bike work through off-road trails creates risk, stress, and discord. Do what you are meant to do. Operating with authenticity makes all your relationships that much more harmonious.
- The less a bike has to carry, the less you alter it and accessorize, the less the chance of something going wrong. While regular maintenance is a must, minimizing the time necessary for upkeep opens up more time for enjoying the ride and the experiences it brings. The less any relationship has to deal with, the easier it is to enjoy it too.
- Try new things. Motorcycles don’t balk if their rider wants to take them off the beaten path. This is where the best experiences are—where you meet new people and discover new possibilities. One chance meeting can set off a whole chain of unexpected positive events.
- Accept where you are. Bikes stay where they’re put until it’s time to move on. You are right where you are meant to be in this moment. Open your eyes to the people around you and the situation you’re in. There are gifts and opportunities waiting for you.
- Be who you are. A bike doesn’t change who it is because of the rider. Sure, the rider can customize and make alterations, but the starting point, and the attraction to the rider, is the basic bike. In life, you attract people with similar interests and perspectives. If you’ve put up defenses or false fronts, how are they supposed to see who you are? You’ll only attract those who fit the faux you.
- Don’t take things personally. A bike isn’t offended if you don’t like its color, style, or brand. It’s not meant to appeal to everyone, and there will be someone it attracts. It’s not personal. If it’s not a fit, it’s not a fit. Move on. You won’t like everyone and everyone won’t like you.
- Love yourself first. If you don’t love who you are, why should anyone else love or respect you? If a motorcycle breaks down, it also lets down its rider. Taking care of who you are is the first essential step of being of service to others.
Wisdom learned from the road increases with each mile, whether it’s done on a motorcycle or on your life’s path. Unlocking the door to who you are is the key to co-creating harmonious relationships with yourself, your life partners, your coworkers, and your community.
Purchase the entire ebook Life Lessons from Motorcycles—75 Tips for Enjoying Robust Relationships available for any e-reader. $2.99.
photo credit: True Love via photopin (license)