Dear that person I met for 10 minutes,
You noticed my headlights were on too bright. You asked me to turn them down. I was halted by fear, “there is a deer ahead!” I replied.
I sat un-moving, and those behind me were now also at a standstill. You countered by saying, “it’s a far ways down – there is a good chance the deer will move by the time you get there.”
I was advised to keep moving. He told me that I needed to show caution while allowing for more ease. With lights still on (but now dimmed slightly) I moved forward.
Earlier: The man who shared this metaphor was very knowledgeable and chose his words wisely. When the lights slowly switched from yellow to red, he took that time; when we were both fully stopped, to share his theory on why people tend to “hold back.”
He explained that these people “truly believe they have this special, great, unique, ability to “clearly” see what’s in front of them.” He ended his statement with, “and often, they do… it’s what we call intuition or a gut feeling. And, although intuition can be a good thing to listen to, it can also lead us around a very dangerous cycle.”
The man shared more wise words, “when you are living and looking too far in the distance, with your headlights on the brightest setting, you will no doubt be able to see all the obstacles that lay ahead. There is a danger in operating with this extreme light.”
This concept (which in hindsight seemed like something I should have already known) is hard to see when you are always looking 10 steps ahead. In that case, hindsight is rarely 20/20.
As the light turned green, I decided not to look forward, and instead focus on where I was.
I finally understood – If you always stop to protect yourself, there is a chance that your decision to stay backwards, may be a decision made too soon. Unless you move forward, you may never truly know if what you are seeing will still be there when you finally approach it (or, is as bad as you thought it looked from behind)
Making the decision to stop dead-in-your-tracks, may mean that you were right. As you give yourself a pat-on-the-back for avoiding the big bad deer altogether, I wonder if sometimes its OK (and even a good thing) to prove yourself wrong.
If you illuminate your path too much, you will always see that same deer in-front of you. And so, you stop – you stop trying.
So what would happen if we just turned down our light slightly. Just a notch, or two, or three. Just enough to keep us moving, and looking one step ahead, instead of 10 steps in the distance – giving our deer the chance to move away.
Conclusion: light dimmed = more opportunity for love, life, listening, learning and laughing