Lessons Learned from a Glass Guru
(part 3 of 3)
For the last two weeks, I’ve been sharing with you my experience of spending time with Sheldon, a glass technician for SafeLite AutoGlass Repair. (click here to read the last two articles.) I spent no more than an hour with this young man and, in that time, as we talked about my repairing my windshield, Sheldon shared bits of wisdom that caught my attention and that I could apply to many aspects of life.
I’ve had windshield chips repaired before, but I’ve never been privy to watching the process and having it explained to me step by step. Generally, my experience of windshield repair has looked like dropping off my car, sitting in a filthy waiting room until the project is complete, having my number called and then leaving. I assumed the same would happen for this project, the only difference being I would be able to go back into my clean, nice-smelling home to wait. However, that was not the case.
After opening the garage, introducing Sheldon to my car and talking with him about the craters in my windshield caused by the meteoroid that slammed into me, I turned to go inside while he worked. He had returned to his vehicle to gather the tools of his trade and as my hand touched the doorknob, he called out, “Angie, what do you do for work?”
His question sparked a conversation about my work as he set up shop on the hood of my car. This resulted in me staying looped into his presence and, rather than going inside to pour over homework, I stayed in the garage and got to know my technician a little better.
It was fascinating to witness Sheldon’s precision and intent of perfection as he worked. I was enthralled with learning about the process of healing glass. The fact that he was taking resin - strong glue - and dripping it into the cracks and that was going to make the glass whole was absolutely magical to me. This sheet of glass that is curved to match the body of my car and built to withstand all but the most vicious of impacts was once wounded and dangerously cracked, but was now healed.
At one point in the process of fixing my windshield, Sheldon could have stopped prior to the point of perfection and absolute surety that the cracks were sealed. At that point, the windshield looked fairly pretty, but it would have been a gamble with time and nature as to whether the cracks spread. If he hadn’t said anything at that point, I wouldn’t have known the difference if it never cracked, but he could see that the problem didn’t appear to be fully resolved. He explained to me that the process of trying again... and again... would make it a little more unattractive each time, but he wouldn’t give up until he was sure he’d sealed it. That sounded like a good plan to me.
I was in awe that glue could cause the glass to fuse together as if there never was a problem and I thought that was miraculous. However, Sheldon was not pleased because the craters and spidering cracks were still visible. His healing job of my glass was not beautiful in his eyes.
“I’m sorry, Angie. These chips were really bad.” My Glass Guru sounded dejected. “I can’t make it look pretty for you.”
“I don’t care about pretty, Sheldon. I care that the cracks won’t spread and cause me to have to purchase a new windshield. You did what you had to do to make that happen.”
“Thanks for not getting mad,” Sheldon said. “Some people expect there to be absolutely no trace of the holes or cracks. Sometimes people get so focused on having a perfect appearance they lose track of what is really important... fixing the hole and the cracks.”
In life there are people who are so concerned with having a perfect appearance on the surface of their life, they lose track of their inner focus. Rather than being fully human and flawed by emotional expression, these people believe that putting on a pretty face and covering up how they truly feel is the best plan. This superficial focus results in inner turmoil as the body strives to stay in balance.
A cracked surface of your emotional body or energy field is the result of bottling up your emotions rather than expressing them. Emotions are energy that wants to move. If you’re conditioned to not express your emotions - you’ve learned that they’re scary or “bad” or you’ve been taught that “boys don’t cry” - whatever the reasoning is behind your willingness to stuff your emotions, it is that very process of stuffing the emotions that will forge chasms through your system. Then, when you are focused on appearing perfect to the world, things can fall through the cracks and get lodged within where they simmer and stew. In this process, while you think you may be fooling the world, from certain angles your holes and cracks will be painfully obvious.
There is a resin, though, that can seal the cracks of your life. When you choose to begin to fully experience, feel and express your emotions as they surface, this will slowly work to heal and seal the cracks that once were. Even though it may seem scary at first to feel those emotions, it is in the feeling of these emotions wherein healing lies. And, amazingly enough, this wholeness is more attractive in any light than any superficial façade you could ever create.
© Angie K. Millgate 7/11/10