Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
Yesterday I posted an article on social media about signs that your firefighter spouse is suffering from PTSD. I made the comment that I wish I had known these things a few years earlier. Maybe then I could have stepped in and done something.
But that’s just part of life. We always wish we would have known. But the important part is that we take the information we have now and apply it to future life events.
It has been raining here for the better part of the last two weeks but today while driving to work I had a revelation. What happens to my car when it is raining is a metaphorical example of my life in its current state.
As I was driving, my windshield was being hit by the rain falling from the sky. This represented my general sadness from my recent loss as well as all of the “little things” that are parts of everyday life. It made it hard to see, but with the wipers running at a steady pace my vision was fairly clear into the future. What really restricted my vision was the water spraying from the tires of all of the vehicles around me. This represented all of the people in my life – some just plain mean and some mean well – telling me what to do to “get over” whatever obstacle I’m facing. All of the advice being thrown at me really obstructs my vision and my path forward and it’s up to me to turn the wiper blades up to fast and decide what I want to keep and what I want to wash away.
What struck me most, however, was that no matter how blurry my windshield got, my rear window was always clear. Every once in a while it would get a little misty – which represented all of the “what if” and “if only” statements that have plagued my thoughts since losing Josh. But a quick swipe with the rear wiper and it was good as new again. A small reminder that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time and my memories of our time together come into clear view again.
I hope to remember this lesson in the future.
And I hope that it helps someone else to understand themselves a little better as well.
The future is never completely clear, but we have to remember to listen to and pay attention to ourselves first and foremost. We will never run out of people ready and willing to give us advice but if it doesn’t feel right for you, feel free to wipe it away.
The past is always clearer than it was while we were in it. Our best option is to take the lessons we have learned and use them to help ourselves in the future.
Do the best you can. Remember the past, but work for a better future. 💜