Lessons from a car accident: Changing “I can’t” to “I can”


It was a seemingly long day at work which included ending the day in Kapolei. I think I the day wouldn’t have felt so long if I didn’t start feeling hungry at around 3 pm. Since I was at a different office and I didn’t think to bring a snack I didn’t have any food on me. I stayed there until 5 pm and by then I felt REALLY hungry. So I made a decision to stop and get food from Chun Wah Kam which was about a mile away. This was a total cheat because I had food at home ready to prepare for dinner. 

I should mention that not only was I hungry, I believe I was also PMSing and those two things together equal nothing but trouble.

In my mind I knew what I wanted to get; a bunch of manapua for the family to eat and leftovers to have for lunch and two plate lunches. Now if you’ve ever gotten a regular-size plate lunch at Chun Wah Kam you know that could feed three people. Because I was feeling so hungry all I could think was: “Buy PLENTY of food!” 

I parked the car and started walking directly to the restaurant and I was suddenly distracted by the new cupcake store next door. Like a moth attracted to light I walked into the cupcake store and made an audible sigh followed by, “Oh my…” I walked out with 6 cupcakes and chantilly bread pudding. Ugh and yay at the same time.

Then I went over to Chun Wah Kam and ordered LOTS of food and got in my car to leave. In my mind, while sitting in the driver’s seat, I was banging my head against steering wheel because the food was in the back seat and far from my reach. But I could smell it (UGH!). As I was leaving the parking lot I stopped before taking a left turn into the main drive out of the parking lot. Just as I stopped, the car parked immediately to the right of me reversed. It all happened so fast. I honked my horn but she backed into me. 

“Oh great.” Was my first thought, immediately followed by “NOOOO! Why now?! I’m HUNGRY!!” So we swapped info and chatted for a little bit. And we both jokingly decided the problem wasn’t either of us but the car that parked in front of her whose passenger side rear tire was up on the curb. She said that she was so distracted by those people that she didn’t look behind her well to see if cars were approaching before backing up. Nuts. 

Then I left with my tummy flipping over itself, food smelling up the car but out of reach, adrenaline slowing down and my body feeling like it wanted to collapse into bed. I started thinking about the accident (the first in my 13 month old car) and why it happened. I thought about where my car was damaged (front passenger side bumper area) and figured that this has to be something about my outgoing thoughts. “Watch your thoughts” was what I heard. So I contemplated what I’ve been thinking about when BAM! Traffic slowed ahead of me. I instantly thought, “I can’t do this.” And before I could register what happened in my mind, I corrected myself by saying, “I can!”

Ask for the meaning behind an incident and another one comes along to clearly demonstrate it. I don’t know how many times a day I think “I can’t do this.” or “I don’t know how.” But saying words like this every day over time is very disempowering. Correcting it immediately seemed to be the best fix.

Here’s a food parallel… if someone were to eat a donut one day it wouldn’t be horrible; but if that same person ate a donut a day for over a month, that would be a problem. In the same way, that’s what unhealthy words do to us inside. It erodes our emotional well-being and what’s worse is there are no real visible clues that tell us when it’s getting out of control. 

So I’m still a little shaken but I am hoping the lesson sinks in deeply and changes are made immediately because I really don’t plan on getting into another car accident. 😉

One response to “Lessons from a car accident: Changing “I can’t” to “I can”

  1. Pingback: Car Accidents and their Most Common Causes+ | Better Body Auto·

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