We were on vacation a few months ago. It was my turn to drive the rental car. My first time behind the wheel was on a very busy California highway. I was constantly panicked by how close, large, and looming all the cars appeared behind me and next to me as I checked my rearview mirrors.
Finally, I thought to actually turn my head and glance over my shoulder. Such relief!
“What the bleep! What is up with these mirrors? They’re scaring the bleep out of me!”
“Mom. It says right on the mirror, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.”
Oh. And duh. “Yuh. And bigger and scarier!”
Isn’t that life? Turns out that the cars in the mirror weren’t such the big deal I was making them out to be. They weren’t in my way. I wasn’t going to cause an 18 car pile up by changing lanes. My perspective was just a little funky.
The mirrors were making Mountains out of Mole Hills.
Lately I’ve been working to catch myself. Am I looking into a rental car mirror? What’s the real situation here? Am I Making Mountains out of Mole Hills?
Pema Chodron explains an aspect of this:
The painful thing is that when we buy into disapproval, we are practicing disapproval. When we buy into harshness, we are practicing harshness. The more we do it, the stronger these qualities become. How sad it is that we become so expert at causing harm to ourselves and others. The trick then is to practice gentleness and letting go. We can learn to meet whatever arises with curiosity and not make it such a big deal.
I love the last line. “We can learn to meet whatever arises with curiosity and not make it such a big deal.” You know. No Mole Hills into Mountains.
And now for the cats.
Whenever a box or a bag comes into the house. One or both of the cats inevitably figures out a way to get inside. They are so very curious.
See. You can learn stuff from cats. Be curious today.