Rear view Mirror

When I stopped for gas this morning, the jeep at the pump in front of me came barreling in reverse toward my car. I scarcely had time to react. After the impact, I stepped out and greeted the driver with the question "Didn't you see me?"  The answer, of course, was no. He needed to know what was behind him to avoid hitting my car. He had not looked in his rear view mirror, and our morning routine was interrupted by exchanging contact information and insurance and taking pictures of the damage.  

Like the driver this morning, we need to look in our "rear view mirror" sometimes; to understand where we've been, to see clearly the obstacles that may interrupt our lives, to learn from past experiences, and to work through lingering hurts. Sometimes there may seem to be a fine line between living in the past and healing from the past. It may seem easier, less painful, to avoid or suppress memories from old hurts and traumas in order to "just move on" with life. Kind of the "just let sleeping dogs lie" approach. However, the pain is there, festering just under the surface, leaking out when you least expect it. On the other extreme, some people get mired down in the painful emotions of old hurts, wounds from childhood or traumas. They are not fully living and enjoying today because they are stuck in the past.

I believe there is a way to fully face our past with honesty and courage, learn what we need to from our experiences, and then let go. Thomas Hardy, an English poet states it well: "If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst." Looking at the worst, though painful, may be the only way to a better future. 

Smallville fans may remember an episode when Clark asked Lex about putting his past behind him. Lex's reply: "Look at the stars, Clark. Some of them have been extinguished for thousands of years, but their light is only reaching us now. The past is always influencing the present. I can't change that. All I can do is try to understand it."

Is the light from your past blinding you to the present?