Every car comes with a rearview mirror because in order to drive forward you must sometimes look back.
Many years ago, I took a friend on a hiking trip. (If you’ve just started reading these blogs, you’ll soon learn that I love to hike.) My friend had never been on a hike and didn’t know what to expect. From the moment we first started, she kept asking, “Where are we going?” I kept telling her to wait, that she would see. Throughout the entire hike, I felt as if I were driving my children around. (Young parents will learn that you don’t tell your children about an activity until you are just about there. We all have made the mistake of telling them a week ahead of time, but we don’t make that mistake too often.) On the hike, my friend whined and complained the entire time, “I’m tired,” or “Are we going to see a waterfall?” “I hope you packed food.” I smiled and kept going. When we reached the halfway point and I couldn’t take the whining any longer, I told my friend to turn around. When she did, she was amazed. She had no idea that she had come so far on her hike. She didn’t know that she had gone half way up a mountain and she had no idea how breathtaking the view would be. She cried and said that this was like life.
And now you know what I love to hike. The journey, not the destination is the real deal. Many years later, on Mother’s Day, my friend reminded me of that trip. She said parenting is the hike and only when we look back are we able to see how far we’ve come.
So true, we need to look back from time to time to see where we have come from. But let’s go back to the rearview mirror for a moment. That rearview mirror is front and center of the windshield. It does not obstruct the view it enhances it. The windshield is much bigger.
The present; the here and now in front of us is where we need to be right now but if you don’t have a proper appreciation for the present moment you will cling to the past and yearn for the future.
As I work to maintain wellness, I often slip into thinking that I have not done enough, but it’s at those times that I allow myself to look back and see just how far I’ve come.
· Take a quick look back at how far you’ve come. Take out the pictures and see the distance.
· Remind yourself that you’ve done well. We all need encouragement.
· Ask yourself how you can be better. The Universe is always teaching, if you fail to listen, you will never graduate.
· Share what you’ve learned with someone you love.
“I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”
Bertice Berry, PhD