I had a moment of self-realization recently.
I really enjoy solo road trips. There’s something so freeing and liberating about being alone in the car for long periods of time with nothing but you and the open road. I’ve always been shy when it comes to singing in front of people, yet when I’m alone in the car, I’m free to belt out the lyrics to my favourite songs on my car’s stereo. Singing makes me happy and gives me a sense of finding myself...so it’s no wonder I’m able to reflect and meditate best alone on long car trips.
A few weeks ago, I was driving along a desolate highway from Phillip Island back to Melbourne. The sun had long set, and the sky was pitch black. There were barely any other cars on the road and, aside from the radio, my open windows revealed that there weren’t any surrounding noises outside. Yet, I unintentionally kept checking my rear view mirror.
Finally, for some reason, I said to myself: Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.
I immediately knew that this was my subconscious bringing clarity to not only the present moment whilst driving but also to life in general. For years, I can remember telling my friends, during their tough times, not to dwell on the past. Once, after getting into an argument with a family member and then reconciling, I was told it was water under the bridge and we never brought up the incident again. So why, when facing my own struggles, do I have so much trouble letting go of the past? Sure, you can forgive and forget, but the heart can’t instantly repair itself. Granted, time heals all wounds, but you’re only going in circles if you keep dredging up the past.
Since further studying yoga and moving to Australia, I’ve done a lot of self-discovery. I feel as though, mentally, I’ve grown a lot and gained so much wisdom. People have come in and out of my life and I feel as though each person has been vital in my mental development — even if I only knew each for a short period of time.
We have to keep in mind that we’re constantly evolving. Each new day can offer a life lesson, whether big, in the form of death or heartbreak, or small, through learning a new skill or brightening someone’s day.
Yes, it's okay to look back on the past as a reminder of how far you've come. But continually picking at the scab and resenting or dwelling on a moment long past isn't helping you grow.
Keep your eye on the prize and try to look forward, because that's the direction in which you're headed.
Erica Beehler, RYT