Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rearview Living

A couple of months ago I was rear ended.  Everything was ok-people and cars.  It was the second time I had been rear ended in a year.  The first time was due to icy weather.  This last time was due to naughty dogs in a car.

After the first accident, I was pretty shaken up.  It was difficult for me to drive in bad weather.  I was constantly checking my rearview mirror, bracing for what I thought would be the impact of another car hitting me.  Eventually, the paranoia faded.  It also helped when winter turned to spring.

I didn’t have that same paranoia after this last accident…or so I thought until a couple of weeks after the accident.  There I was again, checking the rearview mirror, bracing myself for another impact.  I even started moving the car up a few inches, as if those few inches would create enough margin between me and a car that could not stop in time.

It was really becoming a problem because I would dread being at stop lights.  I was constantly checking out the rearview mirror.

I wondered what that was about.


Even though it was a false sense of control.

I thought that if I checked my mirror, I could tell when a car was going to hit me and adjust accordingly.  Perhaps avoid an accident, or at least minimize the damage.

I was stuck on this idea that I actually have control over that.  I’m not talking about defensive driving.  I’m talking about the idea that I can actually prevent bad things from happening.

Fear takes over again.

I’ve written before that faith is the cure for fear.  My personal cure anyway. 

I needed to let go of the idea that I could prevent an accident.  I needed to let go to that false notion that I could control someone else’s vehicle by moving up a few inches.  I needed to stop driving in my rearview mirror.  I needed to let go of this false notion of control.

This seems to apply to my life in general.  I get so caught up in the fear, the bracing for impact, that instead of moving forward, I look backward, trying to predict the next step.  I pretend to soothe myself with the idea of control.  There is no control.

I can have faith.

Life can change in an instant.  There is no warning in a rearview mirror.  It simply happens.  No predictions.  No control.

So what can I do?  I can stop looking in that rearview mirror.  Life (both the good and bad bits) will happen regardless of if I can see it coming.  

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