How to Learn Lessons From Significant and Minor Accidents

lessons from accidents

Have you ever rear-ended a car? You’re driving along, the car in front of yours stops—suddenly or without you noticing, and you realize you need to stop, too. So, you slam on the breaks, grip the steering wheel tightly, and hope…and pray…your car stops in time. Then…BOOM! You’ve gotten in an accident.

You could just chalk the event up to just an accident, or, if you are like me, you can try to figure out why it happened. What’s the lesson you are supposed to learn?

From a metaphysical standpoint, accidents are not just accidents. They occur to call your attention to something important. From this perspective, they are like wake-up calls from the Divine (Universe, God, Creator, or whatever you call the Source of All). Significant accidents, like serious car crashes, are potent warning signs. Minor accidents, such as fender benders, are less powerful messages but worth taking seriously all the same.

My Fender Bender

Last week, I drove home from the chiropractor while talking to one of my best friends using the car’s Bluetooth connection to my cell phone. The conversation concerned a critical aspect of my life. I sought clarity on a decision, but I had fear around making it. I was trying to plan my future post-decision, process my emotions, and figure out how to speak to those involved.

The road was straight, and there were lights and some traffic. My mind was not on the cars in front of me—at least not consciously.

As I drove, on my left, I noticed a house being renovated. A new fence had been erected, and it had an angular turn that enclosed one tree in the front yard and left another outside near the sidewalk. Both trees were surrounded by vertical lumber and metal fencing. The protected trees were an odd sight, and I got distracted and spent just a few seconds too long looking at them. When I looked forward, the cars in front of mine had stopped at a light.

You know the rest. Foot on the brakes. Too late… BOOM!

Luckily, no one was injured. I had a little bit of a stiff neck for a few days, which I expected. (I made a new chiropractor appointment.)

The cars weren’t even severely damaged. The young boy’s car had a few scratches on the license plate. My car’s license plate was hanging halfway off, and the plastic around one wheel well was loose.

Finding Meaning in an Accident

After giving the young man my insurance information, I got back in the car and called back my friend. (I’d hung up immediately after the accident occurred.) Together, we began to dissect the event.

Here’s what I identified as the issues leading up to the accident and the lessons I learned because of it:

1. Distraction

I was definitely distracted in that moment…no doubt about that. However, the situation I was dealing with was a big distraction and had been for a long, long time.

The message:

I was shown that I need to stay focused and keep my eyes on the road ahead—where I am going. I was looking to the side before the accident.

More than that, the decision I needed to make was causing me to focus on the future. I was not present and needed to be in the moment. In fact, the only way to create the future I desire is from the present moment.

2. Fear

I also was fearful. Therefore, I was focused on future negative potentialities—possible future scenarios that would prove challenging. These felt like obstacles in my path.

No wonder I found my path obstructed in a way that clearly hindered my ability to continue moving forward.

The message:

I was shown how my fear prevented me from creating what I desired or getting where I wanted to go. I needed to move into a place of trust and know that everything would work out for the highest good of all concerned.

Additionally, I needed to focus on the positive—what I wanted.

3. Control

Accidents often show us where we feel we have lost control. I definitely felt out of control in the unresolved situation and wanted to regain control.

The message:

Looking at the accident from this perspective, the lesson might be to stand in my power and take control. On the other hand, the message might be to give up control and trust that the Divine has my back.

4. Identity

My license plate, which is now taped onto the bumper, is my car’s identifier. It’s almost like its identity. My challenging situation could be resolved with a change in identity.

The message:

The message hidden in this accident might be to see myself differently. It also could be a reminder to start being who I want to be—even while I’m trying to resolve the situation. To change my identity.

It’s also possible that the message is to continue doing what I’m doing because it’s working. My old identity is hanging on with a few bent screws and tape. It will soon fall off.

Accidents and Your Body

The other day I tripped going up some steps when leaving the beach. I stubbed my toe and fell onto my hands and knees. I ended up with a scraped knee.

I could dissect that accident by looking at the symbolism of the body parts affected and find a message. For instance, I could easily see this minor accident telling me that I have resistance to taking steps forward and upward. And, again, I lack focus or am distracted.

Knee problems—including skinned knees—are related to the inability to bend, stubborn ego and pride, fear, and inflexibility. I already mentioned that I had been feeling afraid. I also was unwilling to bend to some extent.

The car accident gave me a stiff neck, which is usually related to (in)flexibility (again) and the ability to see what’s around me. (Think of owls who can turn their necks almost all the way around…) Neck problems also signify stubbornness and a refusal to see other sides of a question or situation. I could easily see these characteristics in my attitude toward the unresolved situation.

How to Find the Lesson in an Accident

You can see how this way of looking at accidents can take you down a rabbit hole. There’s tons of information on the Internet about the spiritual or metaphysical meaning behind types of accidents and physical issues.

So what do you do with all the potential meanings, insights, and lessons? Trust your intuition.

After you’ve done the research to find possible meanings or lessons, sit quietly. Take a few deep breaths and get centered. Then, think about each possible lesson or meaning.

Which one feels on target for your current situation? What message seems to hit home and feel right? Go with that.

You can recall past accidents and practice analyzing them. Remember what was going on at the time of the accident. Then research the metaphysical or spiritual meaning or lesson. See what hindsight makes clear about what you were meant to learn from that event.

Pay close attention to any little mishap. Every accident—large or small, significant or insignificant—can give you essential insights into yourself and your situation.

Take heed, and learn the lessons, and then put them to use. In other words, act on those messages. If you do, you’ll likely avoid more significant and severe accidents in the future.

Have you gotten a message or learned a lesson from an accident? Tell me in a comment below, and please share this post with a friend—maybe one who recently suffered an accident.

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Photo courtesy of Cathy Yeulet.

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