Rearview Mirror

I'm in a rather thoughtful mood today. I received an email from my daughter who has been having a bit of a rough time with her significant other. This seems to be an ongoing thing and not something new. She has always said to me, "but it didn't used to be this way". And the queery to a mom of what should I do generally follows.

I often think of life like driving a car. You have to turn on the ignition and get ready to go. You have to put yourself into gear...no one can do that for you nor can you go forward without doing so. Now, you have to put your foot on the gas pedal...take those steps forward. Of course, you have to steer and choose your own path. Where are you looking? Forward..towards the next turn or the bend that may be coming up in the road. Then there's that rearview mirror. It's a checkpoint to see where you've been. Occasionally, you look back to see what may be coming or where you've been but it isn't what you stare at as you drive.

Way too often, we spend time looking backwards in our rearview mirrors at what was or should have been instead of taking charge and driving forward through all the curves and bends in our paths. We're the ones that are driving...taking those steps forward. It's okay to look in the rearview mirror to check where you've been and learn from the mistakes. If we don't look through the front windshield, we'll be slamming on the brakes, swerving and having a very unpleasant ride.

So my advice to her? Stop looking in her rearview mirror, start to take charge and drive. Are you using your rearview mirror too much?

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Comments

Lindsey said…
That's a good metaphor. My car is on cruise control right now, and there's a lovely song on the radio :)
ooh, i like this metaphor!
i try to be a good driver. but sometimes my rearview mirror is the size of my windshield and the windshield the size of my rearview mirror. and sometimes i like to pull over and sit in the grass for a while, or let someone else drive and hang my head out the window. one thing i rarely do is speed, i can tell you that much. i'm in no rush. :)
AWESOME POST!!!! I so need to print this out and keep it where I can look at it ever so often...I have been hurt so much in the past that I tend to look too much in the rearview mirror in hopes to not get hurt anymore...not really thinking that is what could be hurting me now!!!
Audrey said…
What a wonderful analogy! For me, the beauty of an analogy is the visual cue that it provides. I will now make a point of stopping myself from "checking my rearview mirror." That is fantastic!
Snap said…
Great advice and today is important, use the time wisely and remember - only this moment is for sure ... do something good with it. Hard, hard to learn .........
drollgirl said…
GUILTY!!! i might be using the side mirrors and looking out the windows too much too, just to see if others are doing better than i am. humph. i need to think about all this! you are a wise woman!!!
Great metaphor and the picture is perfect.
briannelee said…
This is a nice post.

I hope your daughter figures everything out. I think when things are meant to be relationship wise, you should not have to question it. When the right one comes along, you just know.
Hit 40 said…
She does need to look ahead. I hope her husband wants to look ahead with her.
I love that metaphor! I've used car analogies for riding horses too, but I like this one for life.

Sorry to hear your daughter is having a rough spot. Hopefully she will take her asked for advice!
Liss said…
So true, but to look forward takes far more courage than looking back. Often when we think bout looking forward in new direction we worry bout the time we have spend getting to this point hence looking in the review mirror we question is all that time wasted if we change direction.
Your daughter is not only faced with decision to Drive but to drive with out a rod map. Even What road does she take which one leads to happiness? Most people think GPS is a necessity these days, and it’s only when you have traveled a few dirt roads and gotten lost few times do you realise it not as scary as you thought it was. Sometime the rough road is the most worthwhile, I never look back anymore.
what a great metaphor, I have never heard it put that way. i'm definitely watching the road ahead of me.
Hello Lindello said…
what a good mother you are! your daughter is lucky to have you. Very wise words to live by too.
Penney said…
Excellent advice, I wish I'd had someone tell me something similar in my previous life! I hope your daughter listens, though it's always easier than it sounds.
Great advice Mom ! Take care...Kathi
Lindsey: My car goes on cruise too often and I forget to put on the gas!

Poke Salad Annie: I was always in a rush...glad to slow down and smell the roses.

Dena: I think we're all afraid of getting hurt..I know that's my daughters feelings.

Audrey: I's so much a visual person, too. I guess that's why I use metaphors!

Snap: How true..live the moment!
Drollgirl: You're normal..did I actually say that? JK!

Briannelee: You're so right..you shouldn't have to question if a relationship is right.

Hit40: I think that's the problem..he isn't looking ahead but kind of using the situation to his advantage.

Everyone Thinks Their Good Drivers: What a great way to teach riding! I never thought of that. I guess that's why you have the credentials!!

Liss: Oh, I really liked the analogy with the GPS. We get so used to people telling us what to do and don't take that unknown road..could be the best happiness.
Wow, great food for thought here. It's so easy to get caught up in what used to be, or what we wish would be--instead of rolling up our sleeves and putting in the hard work to make it happen.

Thank you for this reminder. This also brings to mind something the pastor said at my wedding (last Sept.): "The grass is greener where it's watered." Amen to that. Relationships are hard work--but so worth the effort of "watering."

I wish your daughter and her s/o all the best.
Sandra said…
Excellent! I realize I have become a 'useta'. I useta do this, I useta do that. I need to concentrate on being an I am. : ) Thanks for the advice.
Very thought provoking! I hope your daughter can find happiness. I know one thing: she is very lucky to have such a wonderful mom!
I'm Julia said…
Thoughtful post and comments. Constantly looking back, like not paying attention, leaves more opportunity for some idiot to sideswipe me. Bad things happen in life no matter what, but I can deal with them more efficiently if I'm in a forward thinking mode.
NODtoMOD said…
i hope she starts looking forward too! i know she loves your advice and takes it to heart.:) xo
What gorgeous horses! Panache... he takes my breath away :)
Love, love, love a dapple grey TB.
That's a very good metaphor.
I think I'm stuck in a pothole. Lol

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