Updated: Jul 13, 2022
When you hear or read the words "rear-view mirror" what nearly automatically comes to mind?
If you’re like the majority of us it’s the flat surfaced mirror attached to the upper center portion of a car's windshield.
What's the Purpose of a Rear View Mirror?
Have you ever asked yourself what the purpose of the rear-view mirror is? Seems almost silly to ask, right? But is it? What is its purpose?
When I did a Google search to answer that question I received a response of 874,000,000 results in 0.65 seconds. Kind of crazy, right?
Here’s the top answer: Your car's rear-view mirror serves a multitude of purposes that help keep you safe as a driver. The rear-view mirror promotes an alert driving experience by allowing you to see behind your vehicle without turning your head. By checking the rear-view mirror, you can monitor traffic and prepare for any potential dangers. (Dempsterqualitycarcare.com)
Our cars also typically have two outside rear-view mirrors also. I’ll admit I don’t often think of them as rear-view mirrors, but they indeed are, but from a different perspective or viewpoint. Nonetheless, they have a rearward view and help us see blind spots the center rear-view mirror cannot see.
Here are two more questions to consider: How often do you and I check those mirrors and how frequently is it recommended that we do?
Here’s the answer from the same article mentioned above: Most driving instructors suggest checking your mirrors every five to eight seconds with a glance. A glance does not mean studying the mirrors, but more along the lines of a quick check. It’s important not to stare off into your rear-view mirror as you can miss hazards in front of you.
How is a Rear-View Mirror Connected to Recovery?
I can imagine a number of you wondering where in the world I’m going with this and what it has anything to do with sexual integrity recovery and a transformational path ahead. Hang with me.
Dr. Eddie Capparucci writes in his book, Going Deeper - How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction, this discovery; “the road to recovery from sexual addiction goes through your childhood.”
Dr. Capparucci came to this observational conclusion while undertaking a 10 year study of the men he worked with.
Taking this observation and then applying it to sexual addiction recovery, it is going to require a man to look back on his childhood for some critical answers. Sounds a bit like looking in a rear-view mirror doesn’t it?
Taking the time to look back reflectively on my own childhood continues to reveal dangers and hazards I ‘ran over’ along the way. In transparency I’ve recently discovered the answer to a repeating struggle in my own life.
I’ll spare you all the details of the discovery but In looking back, after reading Dr. Eddie’s book and conversations with my bride, that I had not properly identified a childhood wound, how it was impacting me yet today.
This new discovery from my "rear-view mirror" is enabling me to step into the grieving and healing process to release the grip of my ill response to perceiving or feeling I’ve been disrespected. It wasn’t a pleasant revelation, but I’m glad to have made it.
This is a real and recent lesson for me from the rear-view mirror.
Why You Must Look Back to Move Forward
Looking back on our childhood can be very difficult and for some of you reading this it may be incredibly painful, even to the point of your mind blocking much of it out. The memories for most are still there, yet buried deep.
The road to recovery from sexual addiction goes through your childhood. The wounds that give us the need to seek a broken medication cycle must be sought out and identified to enable us to treat, grieve and heal.
Without the preceding process being undertaken, finding real and lasting transformation and freedom will be practically impossible.
I’m not leaving God out of the equation of this process.
In fact, our Helper and Counselor, Holy Spirit, is vital in the journey of discovery. See we get really good at locking the doors to those dark and dingy rooms of our lives where all this painful crud resides. Some of this junk has been there for so long, we forgot where we stuffed it.
When Hope Comes Into View
When we choose to submit to the Holy Spirit’s authority and desire to help us heal toward transformation and healing, life changing things can begin to happen.
Hope begins to rebirth. And when hope comes back into view we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Likely a long tunnel…but there’s light at the end.)
The Apostle Paul wrote a lot of the New Testament. As I read the verses below I see a metaphorical picture of the hope within Paul as he wrote of our imputed righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:12-14 (ESV) “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul acknowledges he’s not made this journey on his own. Jesus has given him new hope and strength to have obtained this righteousness. We too can obtain this freedom birthing righteousness in and from Christ on this journey to sexual wholeness and integrity.
While Paul is fully aware of his past and humbly speaks of his condition, he also encourages us how to see.
Paul has looked in the rear-view mirror and seen his past, learned from it but chose to leave it behind. “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Paul also wrote in Galatians 5:1 that “it is for freedom that Christ set us free.” Let us choose to not look back on the bondage of slavery. Use the rear-view mirror to locate those dangers that linger and even creep up on us from the past. Then use those discoveries to strain forward to what lies ahead. Jesus, the Author and perfecter of your faith.
We use the rear-view mirror to look for dangers that pursue us, but not to live in and with those dangers that are no longer a threat.
Learn from what’s behind, but leave it behind.
Cut the bondage rope. Use all of our rear-view mirrors to be aware of the blind spots and trust God to reveal any unseen dangers.
Learn from your past, but let’s not live there. Live in the forward moving vision of transformation and freedom, not the bondage of the past.