The Rear View Mirror

Have you ever considered that we live our lives driving at sixty miles an hour while looking out the rear view mirror?  Is it any wonder that we wind up in a lot of wrecks?  Today we look at this idea more closely.


Its no wonder

Many years ago some one told me that I was living my life by looking at the rear view mirror.  The idea was that rather than watching where I was going in my life I was watching where I had been.


In the intervening years I have found this to be a very interesting metaphor.  The first thing that this brings to mind is that I am looking backwards rather than forwards.  It is no wonder that I run into things – I don’t even see them because I am not even looking.


Not in the moment

Another aspect of this metaphor is that I am not being in the moment.  When I live my life by looking at the past I cannot be in the moment.  Looking in the rear view mirror means that I have not let go of the past.  Therefore I cannot be in the present.  As we know, living our lives in the past keeps us from experiencing the present.


It took me a long time to understand how to properly understand the role of our past.  It seems that it is a balance between remembering what has happened and not letting those remembrances swamp the present moment.


The past is there for us to learn from.  After all, experience is the best teacher.  When we dwell on the past we are not learning from it – we are attempting to relive it.  The idea is not to relive the past – just remember it and apply what we have learned from it to the present moment.


We can do this when we are in the moment.  We are fully aware of what is going on in the moment – but we also are open to applying the lessons we have learned in our past.  When we are fully present the two just seem to flow together effortlessly.


In the meantime

When we dwell on the past, no matter what, our life continues.  It continues at about sixty miles an hour.  So there we are, dwelling on the past – looking out the rear view mirror.


Our concentration is on what we see in the mirror.  We cannot even see what is ahead of us through the windshield.  This never ends well.


The next time you wind up in a mess try to remember what you were looking at just before the mess.  Were you looking out the rear view mirror – trying to relive the past?  If you were doing that – you now have one more reason to remind yourself to stay in the moment.


When you notice that you are reliving the past just tell yourself that you are not watching out the windshield any more.  Then get yourself back in the moment and regain control of your life by looking at where you are going – not where you have been.


Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.




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One Response to The Rear View Mirror

  1. jk says:

    Hi Noah,

    i liked this blog…..and realized wisdom is when we learn from our past experiences…….and when we stay in the present we are able to apply the wisdom to our current journey in this life.

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