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.