I’m no psychologist. This post arises from personal experience as opposed to science. That said, I wondered: is it possible to feel troubled, without actual focus on some past event?
A few times, I thought my concerns revolved around a future event. But each go-round , The 5-Whys Technique confirmed: those concerns likewise emanated from one or more past events.
One early afternoon, an oddly tearful mood arrested me. I call it odd because my tear ducts went on strike months prior to Mom’s death. Five years ago. I dub the kinda-but-not-really result ITS, “Internal Tears Syndrome.” No visible Oprah “ugly-cry.” At best, a lonely drop descends my cheek, bereft of companions. But I can feel my soul crying out. On that day, I could point to no trigger.
As evening fell and the mood remained, I opted for self-help. Dropping the convertible top, I turned to my Spotify Chill playlist, then activated CarPlay. As the smooth-jazz / no-vocals version of 🎵Motown🎵 classics played, I drove to Cary’s Bond Lake. As always, furry and feathered friends greeted my eyes upon arrival. Sitting on the side of a hill, I surveyed ducks, munchkin birds, and the water’s currents. Doing so usually casts a spell of contentment. On that day, nadda. Even my main squeeze—the camera—refused solace; it remained undisturbed in my mini backpack.
Disappointed, I trudged back up the hill, seeing my car from its rear. As I stomped closer, sunset rays spotlighted the rear-view mirror. As I moved, so too did the rays of the sun. Bouncing to the left then right side-view mirrors, the rays rested on the back window, inflicting a blinding glare. With furrowed eyebrows, I soon punched the doohickey to unlock the car.
A cutiePie bluebird posed, finally coaxing the camera into my hands.
Slumping into the driver’s seat, I tossed the backpack into the rear, my peripheral vision catching the back window. My mental focus: a favorite trick had failed to work its magic; first time.
I glanced through the front window, intrigued by the large bird causing a commotion among its smaller feathered cousins. A one-second identification dashed the ooo-ahhh of my might-be-an-eagle? sighting: vulture. Leaning forward to look at the ignition as I inserted the key, I froze. Escaping my body’s statue simulation, my retinas darted from rear-view to left and right side-view mirrors, to the front window. Rinse. Repeat. About four times. All against the memory backdrop of that blinding rear window.
Message Delivered, Delivering Me
A smile crawled across my face, bursting into the kind of deep belly laugh known to cause breathlessness. I laughed with abandon because the God Wink delivered. Mesmerized by the messaging system, I leaned back in the driver’s seat. My maudlin ‘tude—now blasted into oblivion—resulted from a common human error → mental eyes glued to a back-when event. The past spits at the concept of a do-over. I’d managed to evict the pain from my consciousness. But my subconscious mind glued to a segment of the past, infecting my dreams and now, my workday.
When my dunderhead state prevents receipt of a needed message, Funtime happens—yes, with a capital F. In this instance, the sun attacked the back window and every other back-when car mirror, yet took no issue with the larger front window. It left that one to me. The front window, the biggest of all, offers the most expansive view.
The ubiquitous car … snatched by the Universe to hammer a point. Gotta luv it! Job done, the sun receded from view.
A certain book about bunches of old people during ancient times tells many stories, most including some variant of “and God said to … .” Moses at the burning bush instigates my mental nod of appreciation—yeah, I’d need a burning bush too to get a clue.
Wrong! Turns out, the extended fingers of the setting sun proved efficient in tickling my brain cells. Healed, I 🎵 sang 🎵 all the way home.