Today's blog is bought to you by car analogies and other such stuff. Why? Because I love me a car analogy. I've used car analogies for years to help people understand their bodies and the fuel they choose to put in and as a way of explaining the soul and your physical experiences here on earth, so why not use what you know. I actually only learnt to drive a few years ago, but I grew up the daughter of a mechanic, spending a lot of time watching the work that made my dad so very happy, so cars and analogies? Make sense!
The Open Road
In life, you have this open road ahead of you ready to drive down. Some of it is signposted, some of it is clear firm paths ahead. Some of it looks more like the backside of beyond, with a few dark alleyways you are pretty sure you took a wrong turn down...Some of that open road turns out to be gravel paths, hills and dirt tracks that you realise you got lost down and need to retrace your steps to get back on track. But here's the thing.
You are mainly looking at the road ahead right? Sure, you have wing mirrors to check what's going on either side of you and that handy rearview mirror to check behind. But the main focus is what's ahead. The path immediately in front of you.
If you spend too much time looking at what's going on either side of you, you slide out of your lane and into someone else's.
Just as If you spend too much time looking in that rearview mirror, you are gonna miss the big ass truck right ahead of you letting us know there is a diversion in place or notice that crash you need to navigate around ahead. Or maybe you might just miss that beautiful amazing view and all the opportunities that come with it.
Do you see what I did there? Do you get it?
Spending too much time watching other peoples paths, leads you down a path that wasn't for you. It takes you off course into someone else's lane and if you aren't careful it can lead you down a path of resentment, judgement, pain and discomfort too. This 'need' to watch what others are doing and compare journeys, is so damaging and pointless because there is not one other experience in this life that is even partially similar to yours.
Sure they may seem to have similarities on the surface, but there are over 7 billion people on this planet and every single one has their own version of reality. We are all completely individual parts of one whole machine. Can you imagine a car door comparing itself to the alternator? Silly right. Both are parts of the same car, but totally unique in their purpose.
It's similar to when you spend too long looking back- you are going to find it hard to get anywhere with any real clarity because frankly, you cant see where you are going, you can't read the signs up ahead and you definitely can't see that fork in the road and choose which way to go. Looking back, you forget you have a choice in the steps you are taking and just as with those sideways comparisons, you can end up in a space of resentment, judgement, pain and discomfort.
Next time you are out, take a look at a car and note which window is the biggest. Okay, fine I'll remind you. Its the windscreen! That big old window gives you the widest view of what's going on, right in front of you, right there within that moment. It shows you everything ahead, as it's happening and ensures you can see that bigger picture.
If we view ourselves as that car, driving down our open road ahead, by all means, take that cursory glance at what's going on either side and around you, but use that to adjust your navigation, not to guide it. By all means, take a cursory glance backwards, just don't get stuck there because honestly, that's a car crash waiting to happen.
You can take inspiration from people every minute of the day and always gain interesting insights and wisdom and experiences, but it's so important to recognise that they have their path and you have yours.
You can use the past as helpful little insights into the path ahead, taking what you need from it and then removing that foot from the brake and punching the gas. You can take a sideways glance to check you are where you want to be and adjust accordingly, but you need to stop looking at what everyone else is doing to help you choose what you think, you should be doing.
All you really need to do? Is buckle up, adjust the air-con, stick on some favourite tunes and drive. Leave the past where it belongs my friends. In that rearview mirror, without focus but with clarity to help you navigate this road better for you.
Your body is that car.
If something isn't comfortable you get to change the controls, you can adjust the settings.
You get to change the radio station and you can choose what fuel to put in, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! You get to sit in that driver's seat. It's your car!
And yes it can be helpful to take little glances in that rearview mirror. It can be inspiring to double check those wing mirrors. But when you truly realise you get to drive your own life? Your focus moves to right now. In the moment. Those glances left and right and backwards become tools to keep you steady on your path ahead.
So my advice this week? Stay in your lane my friends and drive it like you stole it, cos this life? It's yours.