We Move in the Direction That We Face
Stop Looking in the Rear-View Mirror
When I was 15 my boyfriend told me I was beautiful. I believed him. When I looked into the mirror I saw a pretty girl looking back at me. When I was 16 my parents told me I was fat. I believed them. When I looked into the mirror I saw a fat girl. The pretty girl was gone. I must have eaten her.
If you knew me at 14 you may have been confused. I hadn't noticeably changed over the year. I was still the pleasantly plump girl I'd been just a few months ago (OH! To be as thin as the first time I was fat!) but I saw the truth I believed in when I looked into the mirror.
Mirrors are like that. They can't be trusted.
I'll tell you why that is, why it's important, and how that knowledge can change your life.
Mirrors distort, and their images should be taken at ~sorry for this~ face value only. You can't really trust that what you see is totally true. Like Meatloaf sang to us:
But it was long ago and it was far away,
oh God it seems so very far
And if life is just a highway,
then the soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
The way we see ourselves is a reflection of the stories we believe to be true. And the longer we keep our eyes on those beliefs the more true they can become. It's a cycle.
When I was a girl, the oldest of five, I had my family nickname. We all did:
- My youngest sister was the baby,
- My youngest brother was the Golden Boy,
- My middle sister was the favorite
- My other brother, the one a year younger than me was the clown.
- Me? I was the Klu. That's short for Klutz.
(Making it short makes it more.... affectionate, you see.)A Klutz is an ungainly and uncoordinated, not to be trusted with the good dishes, sure to bump into something, yes-I-fell-down-the-steps-and-broke-the-picture-window-with-yes-my-elbow-that-was-in-a-cast-but-I-can-explain, clumsy person.
And so I was.
But I grew up, got married, raised two children pretty much unscathed. I got past it. I faced forward. You see, we move in the direction that we face.
Until I looked in the mirror again... the rearview mirror. When I would visit my parents that capable and competent grown-up became the Klu. I would drop, cut, burn, scorch, fumble. I looked into the mirror and saw the old story. I faced the wrong way. I looked at the past and not the future. And we move in the direction that we face.
Think of your car. It doesn't matter what car you drive, not for this exercise. All cars have a lot of glass. Something they all have in common: smaller windows, smaller mirrors. And a huge windshield. You need that, to drive a car.
You need to see the whole wide expanse in front of you. The rearview mirror is a tiny little thing, isn't it? That's because most of your driving time needs to spent looking ahead, not behind.
You move in the direction that you face.
Oh, you need to look back. You need to recognize what's behind you. Need to know where you've been. Might even need to back up- just a little. But the journey isn't that way. You can't stay there.
Only one person went into the mirror: Alice. And even she spent the whole time after she went through the looking glass trying to get home (or maybe that was Dorothy). Alice wasn't trying to stay in the mirror. There's no growth there. There's no oxygen there. Nothing grows- there's no forward movement. You can't stay in the past. You can't keep your eyes fixed there. You move in the direction that you face.
Face forward. Use the past as a reminder- a memory -a course correction. Are you not seeing forward movement in your life? Do you feel stalled? Spinning your wheels? Where are you looking? What's your focus?
Put your foot down- eyes forward- pedal to the metal- and move on down the road.
You move in the direction that you face. ____________________________________________________
If this story clicked with you please click on the heart below so I will know.
Here some other stories from me about what we see: