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Stalker in the Rear View Mirror

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 PUBLISHED ON: 12/5/17

I'm So Scared!

Reach The Top, Then What?

If you’re a bit long of tooth, you may remember some of those old TV detective shows. Something about them.
‘Technicolor’ was a far cry from HD…. And the detective wasn’t the suave, chiseled, six-packer that dominates today’s
small screen. Rather, he usually was some middle aged dude, sporting plaid polyester pants, maybe even a pot belly. He
used much more guile than muscle, although occasionally he’d throw a right hook…

Maybe it’s just me and my nostalgia for younger and simpler days, but I always thought these shows had an uncanny
charm and intrigue – the kind one finds in a ’68 Mustang. Anyway… One of the cliché scenes in these shows was someone having that eerie sense that he was being followed. With one eye in the rear view mirror, he pressed furiously on the gas, and swerved frantically around corners to escape his pursuer.

Pure, intense anxiety….
Yet, what I find quite fascinating is how we similarly go through our lives with one eye in our ‘rear view mirror’. Much
too often we seem to let ourselves be ‘chased’ by our past. “All those things I should have done but didn’t…. All those things I shouldn’t have done…. I should have zigged instead of zagged. Taken this job instead of that one. Followed my brain instead of my heart. Followed my heart instead of my brain.”

“I … shoulda… coulda… woulda…”
“But I didn’t. I’m unforgivable.”

This is a part of everyday existence for many of us. There is ‘yesterday’ in our rear view mirror - menacing, terrifying,
relentlessly chasing and tormenting us. Ironically though, on the one hand we try to escape it, and on another level it
seems we are the ones willfully dragging it with us….

How needlessly cruel we can be to ourselves sometimes….

The singer-songwriter Jackson Browne once wrote “And while the future’s there for anyone to change, still you know it
seems, it would be easier sometimes to change the past.”

Browne’s lyrics demonstrate he vividly recognizes what we so often yearn for – in vain. To ‘fix’ the past. We live
grasping on to that fallacy, knowing full well that moments and days, once gone, cannot be ‘edited’.

Life has no ‘rewind’ and no ‘replay’.

The only thing we can influence, and have some control of, is the future. By expending all our emotional energy being
stalked by, (or stalking…) our past, we fail to concentrate on what we actually have the power to shape - life from this
moment on. But if our focus is on escape rather than growth, what kind of life can we lead?

The poet Robert Frost once said “In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve ever learned about life: It goes on.”
We should go on as well… – for the sake of our own happiness.


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