What is in your rear view mirror ?
What is in your rear view mirror?
Driving along we stay focussed on the road in front of us, and periodically glance at the rear view mirror and the side mirrors to check our spatial orientation along the flow of traffic. Yet sometimes we get so focussed on checking out the car or the drivers behind us in the rear view mirror that we forget to see the car in front and brake just in time. Or sometimes we forget to even look behind in the rear view mirror, and miss the police cruiser on our tail ! Having a close connection to the past is fundamental in enabling us to move forward into the future.
A quick glance in the rear view mirror is needed to keep us centered as we focus on the road ahead. Similarly in life we can spend our lifetime looking back at mistakes made, roads not taken, missed opportunities, ill words spoken in heat and anger to loved ones. It was once told to me that a “moment’s regret of the past is a moment stolen from the future.” How true when you are driving on the road of life. All too often we spend our days looking in the rear view mirror of our lives with a negative perspective at a variety of experiences that have impacted us adversely. Or at least we perceive them as having affected us adversely, not realizing that many of those experiences and encounters could have been for our good and propelled us forward through the adversity towards a better end. We dwell in the rear view mirror so much that sometimes the only thing that will get us out of that mode is a head on collision with the future.
The past and the future are all connected by the present. If you are not in the moment then remaining in any of the other time zones will not serve you well in fulfilling your purpose. In other words not being in constant conscious awareness of your self in the present moment will not help you let go of the past nor will it bring you in to the future. Sometimes being so focussed on what is in front of you while driving and not noticing the rear view is also to your peril. You will miss the speeding car on your tail for which you could have planned ahead and moved into another lane, or judged your speed more appropriately. In this way knowing where you have been is as important as where you are going.
A friendly mental acknowledgment of the cars next to you also are important as you can gauge your position in time and space. Interestingly you will notice that if you have matched your speed and position with the car next to you, the experience of timelessness briefly unfolds. Very different than the experience of moving forward or noting what is behind you. Ergo get to know your life circumstances at your level, be it in the form of friends, family, or life in general. The windshield is big for a reason, so you can stay alert and be fully aware of your navigation into the future. The rear view mirror is small also for a reason, in that you know your past but are not so stuck in the past that you do miss what is in front. The police car waiting to catch you for speeding should be yet another reminder that on the road of life, the universe will intervene to slow you down, slap you on the wrist and have you reset your accelerating heavy foot.
One eye on the front, one eye on the back and your third inner eye on the moment is one way of driving. Just don’t drive with all your eyes closed.