Some days are days for reflection. Looking back is generally something that I try to avoid doing. Lets face it the past IS gone BUT we can learn from it. A number of years ago I was sitting in a meeting and a man was quonging on and on and on – My mind was drifting to every other topic, and every other conversation that I had heard that week but suddenly he shared something that hit home to me! The boredom fog lifted for a moment and I felt the words that were being said actually hit a little target in my heart. Has that ever happened to you? I almost wanted to yell “Okay just shut up now! Let me wallow here a bit longer!” What he said that day stuck, and it was roughly as follows “When we drive a car, we are looking out of our windshield/windscreen. It is a big, wide expanse of space that enables us to look forward, but we also need to look back regularly so that we maintain an awareness of what is around us. The mirror that we use to look back is so much smaller than our windscreen. If we were to focus on the rear vision mirror for too long, we would crash our car. The same is true for our life, looking back briefly is a good way to orientate ourselves and maintain an awareness of where we have come from, but if it is all that we focus on, then we can ruin our lives. Thats why, in a car, we have a small mirror to gaze back with. We don’t have to turn around and look backwards – we can keep moving in the direction that we want to go, while safely looking back for a moment or two.”
In that moment I knew that I would likely never ever forget that analogy or the way that it resonated inside me at the time. I knew then, just like I know now, that we can not move forward boldly while we are facing away from our future and looking back. Even if you can only see the tiniest little speck of hope on your horizon or even if you can see nothing at all I have found that hope has a way of calling me. Sometimes it whispers to me in my dreams and other times it floods my thoughts and screams as loudly as my kids did when they were tiny. However hope talks to you, I trust that you find a way to listen to it – because we all need it.
This has been particularly true for me over the last 18 months of my life. Moving forward is not always easy. Sometimes it means that you leave things behind. That is the hard part of allowing ourselves to be momentum driven – leaving things and more particularly, relationships behind. Hopefully, at some point down the track, our paths intersect again but if not, it has become so obvious to me that it is vital to always leave people and situations better than when we found them. That is my personal challenge to myself for the last 10 months.
So where are we right now? Are you sitting in the car that is your life, facing backwards, are you parked, stalled, slowly moving or are you tearing it up, taking it down the highway? I have to say that I have moments of all of these things! Some days you ain’t catching me! And other days I am a stalled backwards facing mess – It’s okay to admit that we are not 100% all of the time. It’s okay to say that we have days when it’s hard to keep the focus but what I am finding is that I am becoming more willing to move forward. For the longest time I was not willing to move. I would make the appearance of someone that was moving! I can do the best impression of someone that is running through life but on the inside I was had raised my little white flag in defeat and was sitting down! Has anyone else ever been very comfortable within their safe little comfort zone. I was hidden away, I wasn’t unhappy as such but I was not stretched. I was not growing. I was just marking time which actually equates to moving backwards. Sitting in my car, accidentally driving in reverse, caused me to crash! What was your crash? Mine was in the area of health and family? Here is my hot tip – don’t drive in reverse, either knowingly or by default because of inaction! We can glance back but living there is no way to live.
I had to get a clear picture of what I wanted and the direction that I wanted to go ….. I am now driving in the right direction after that. Every day is a choice. Every day I chose to anchor my soul back to the things that I value and, with varying degrees of success, I keep myself on track. I keep my hope high and I refuse to allow myself to give in to every other thing and all of the distractions that would like to bombard me. What do you do to keep your focus?
Love Tash x