published Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Dalton Roberts: Embrace your rearview mirror


by Dalton Roberts

Most of the TV ministers and counselors are telling you to make resolutions for 2013, to set new goals and commit yourself to a better way of life.

They do not recognize that most of what we know, we learned from our pasts. So I dare to tell you, this is a good time to really use your rearview mirror.

Some of what you see will not be particularly pleasant to see. Like in my song, "You Look Good in a Rearview Mirror":

"You look good in a rearview mirror,

Holding up one finger, flashing your IQ,

At the end of our driveway,

The road to freedom's getting nearer,

Baby, you look good in a rearview mirror."

Yes, there are some unpleasant things and old crippled memories in your rearview mirror, but how can your enjoy the present and walk confidently into your future without really saying goodbye to those things? How do you know when you have really said goodbye to them? When you can think about them without pain -- maybe even with a tolerant grin.

It's that tolerant grin I seek about every cockleburr, briar patch, thorn and all the even worse fire walkings I have ever been through. Except for the deaths of people near and dear to me, I have found that a tolerant grin will dismiss almost any pain from consciousness when I get to the point of being able to do it quickly, naturally and well.

A high percentage of people who fail today fail because they did not clean out and grin at their failings of yesterday. They just repressed them, not realizing that what we repress eventually comes to the surface and explodes in our face.

Just recently I saw this happen. A guard's testimony was disregarded in a trial because he did not admit carrying a gun on a the job. A former felon is not allowed to own a gun, and he lost all credibility when he lied.

How far back do we need to go in looking at our rearview mirror? I do it by decades. Yep, I actually go back to childhood.

Just because your mother was your mother and your daddy was your daddy, and you love them despite all their human frailties and weaknesses, does not mean that everything they ever taught you is sacred. It does not require you to be faithful to their failings and obedient to all their shibboleths. Bring it all up on your rearview mirror, and decide what speaks to the deepest part of you where your true values abide.

Nothing prevents personal growth and progress more than listening to old voices dictate how you should live your life. No one deserves that kind of blind obedience. What starts as respect can end up being a ball and chain you drag into and through all the people, jobs and relationships of your life.

As I discovered, you will find that each decade of your life taught you some valuable skills and a set of no-no's. Review them both as dispassionately as you can, deciding anew which lessons you wish to build on in 2013 and beyond.

Respect the wisdom of your rearview mirror.

Contact Dalton Roberts at downhomep@aol.com.

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