When something in your life gets to the bumper sticker stage, you pretty much believe what you believe so much that you do not care who knows it, and you want other people to believe it too. It’s a belief that has become ingrained, maybe even so much that we’ve stopped seeing these beliefs as something we can change.
The bumper stickers in our lives are those beliefs that we have stopped questioning. Stopped talking about. The ones that run deep. Sometimes they run so deep that we don’t even realize they are there anymore. We believe them to be true. But that is not always the case, and yet there are some bumper sticker beliefs that may be running in your life that seem too difficult to take off. There may even be some bumper stickers that have been on your bumper so long you don’t even see them anymore.
Recently, some ‘life events’ have helped me see my bumper stickers again. Some of them sound like this: I can’t make a mistake. I am not good enough. AND bumper stickers don’t always have to be about the challenging things in life – there are some on the other side of the spectrum for me too like There is enough. And Chocolate is heavenly. Sometimes they serve to ground us, to remind us who we truly are. But sometimes they are not in present time, they are about who we once were, not who we are now and they keep us stuck.
One I have become aware of recently is - Money can not buy happiness. Think about that for a moment. Money can not buy happiness. How that plays out in my life is that spending money is never joyful. There is some small amount of joy in getting something as a deal or half price or with a coupon. But there is no joy in the stuff itself, because “money can’t buy happiness.” My partner is the exact opposite. Spending money brings him joy. Especially if it is something that he really likes – new music, or spoiling me.
There it is again. He is ‘spoiling’ me, just by spending money on me. It is a bumper sticker there for me to see. So he buys me something – and I will chastise him, not because we don’t have the money to spend – we do, and he isn’t overspending our budget – it is because “I don’t need it”. I am not happy with what money buys. Until I shake off the bumper sticker, and accept the gift.
Michael Norton’s TED Talk “How to Buy Happiness” talks about a research study that shows people are happiest spending money when they spend it on other people. So here is my partner happy to spend money on me. Here is me confident that money can not buy happiness. And I miss the happiness on both fronts – for myself because there are some really nice things or experiences out there to buy – this is a great lifetime for stuff! — and for my partner because instead of gratitude, he got frustration. And I missed out on buying for other people too, because in that there is truly great joy. That is just one of my bumper stickers that I am noticing and removing. And as I look at one, I see many many more.
Another outdated bumper sticker I realized recently is Nothing is ever easy. Nothing is ever easy. The other day, I opened my refrigerator and took out a stick of butter, fully wrapped in its little paper. As I turned from the fridge to the counter, my fingers dropped it. As I bent to pick it up, the voice in my head said “ugh. Nothing is ever easy.” Is that true? Really really true? I did not milk the cow. I did not churn that butter. I wasn’t storing it outside in the snow, but in the fridge, in my fully heated kitchen, with electricity. I did drop a fully wrapped stick of butter on the floor, and this totally able body had to bend over and pick it up. That’s it. And my mind went, “nothing is ever easy.” Not true! All I really had to do was bend over and pick it up! I’d say that actually was pretty easy. Anytime anything doesn’t go ‘just so’- the bumper sticker that shows up for me is ‘nothing is ever easy’. Now that I see this bumper sticker, I am beginning to become more grateful for just how amazing and actually pretty easy this life I’ve got is.
Those are just a couple of mine, and now I’d like to invite you to see one of yours through meditation.
Listen to Meditation Recording
Amusement is always a helpful vibration whenever you start to look at deeply held beliefs. So the universe sent me a couple bumper stickers on actual vehicles to give me a chuckle. I saw a bumper sticker on a tow truck the other day that said “Best Hookers in Town.” I saw another one that said “Non-judgment day is near”.
I live next door to a 15-year-old. She scrimped and saved and babysat for us A LOT and she got herself a car a few months before she even got her license. I see this car a lot. It doesn’t move from its spot on the street because she doesn’t have her license yet. She started by covering the back of it in bumper stickers. I laughed and thought, oh to be 15. There were peace signs, and sayings about ‘truth,’ and lots of others.
Then I was surprised. The next week, all of the stickers I’d gotten used to seeing were gone. A brand new one said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.”
I don’t put bumper stickers on my car because I have this idea that they are really hard to get off. Our young neighbor changes her bumper stickers all the time! What an opportunity! I encourage you all to embrace the teenager in you and change your bumper stickers.
I would love to know more about what bumper stickers you are changing in your life - leave me a comment below!