Our Rearview Mirror


I grew up believing I was how others defined me. I relied on invisibility and compliance to stay safe. I grew up feeling remorse and regret for my very existence. I learned to judge myself first because it hurt less. I followed my leaders, learned the rules, did what I was told. I thought life was normal, not realizing I had no idea who I was and what I wanted until I started hitting the speed bumps of my life.

Being human is hard work. Learning to navigate a speed bump is an art that improves with practice. At first, I am the speed bump, adopting the circumstance as my fault, judging myself and getting stuck on the speed bump. Time helps as I reach the peak of the bump and learn from the experience as I reflect back on what exactly was going on observing it in my rearview mirror.

As I redefine my normal, speed bumps show up unexpectedly. Sometimes it takes years to understand what is going on but the same approach, peak and reflection occurs again. The art of navigating a speed bump is in remembering we are not the speed bump. We are the road. We keep moving. We keep soaking up the scenery we pass storing powerful memories of our experiences. We are the vehicle traversing the experience, recognizing bumps up ahead and slowing down, a learning experience in itself.

As an elder in our society, I recognize I am neither the speed bump nor the vehicle. I am the totality of both. I recognize the challenge but I am not the challenge. I recognize the vehicle but I am not the vehicle. I am more. I am the driver and the passenger. Sometimes I get caught up in how fancy the vehicle appears, and realize it is just a vehicle. And I remember it’s the ride that counts. The gentle, compassionate light I share when navigating the road of life. Honoring the lives around me. Sharing the road. Seeking higher ground. Taking responsibility for my decisions and always moving towards the highest and best good for the total experience.

PARTICIPANTS’ REFLECTIONS:

  • “The secret to community lies in the way we let other people get through to us and the way we move out of ourselves.” - Richard Rohr

  • Bumps in road are opportunities, like this pandemic bump we are in. I’m having stronger connections with people, and sharing in groups more deeply.

  • Road as a river flowing, how lovely are the ripples

  • My life as a long path, a lot is beautiful with green trees; and then I saw speed bumps as dark evil trees where I couldn't see the light sky. Took time to get through those patches. Then I went above and saw the dark times were just spots

  • The words “I am the driver and passenger” spoke to me. The importance of self-dialogue. Different perspectives to talk within self

  • I’ve been slowing down. As driver and passenger, I realize I’m not always in control. My higher power is in the driver's seat

  • Metaphors help us see the truth of things.

  • I’ve been going through photographs. It’s been a journey of revisiting my history and children's and ancestor’s history. Feeling my own mortality in this pandemic. This task left me contemplative and full of compassion. It’s the type of task one does when someone dies

  • I changed the speed bump metaphor to potholes. They appear overnight. After you pay for a new tire and suspension, you keep going. Thought of those circular tracks for 500-mile car races. With circles, you come back to same point, things have changed, and have to adapt

  • Enjoying watching Marsha’s cat, so affectionate

  • Amazing to witness the journey of how meditation has changed for people

  • This meditation brought insight into the journey of my life. Insight into my early judgmental self

  • The writing stirs up so much. Helps to get to the bird’s-eye view, helps to view the overall

#authenticity #affirmations #meditation #heart #inspiration #selfhelp

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© 2017 by Strong Voices Publishing