Deep down you know this…

It’s safe to put the bag down.

There are times in my life where it feels like I am stuck. I’m spinning my wheels. I’m not moving forward. In these moments, when I slow down and tune in, I realize I feel like I’m carrying a bag of rocks. A giant, heavy, cumbersome bag of rocks, slung over my shoulder that I just lug around from day to day, week to week.

It’s safe to put the bag down.

Maybe it doesn’t feel safe to put the bag down at first. No, no, I think, these are my burdens, my crosses to bear, the things that aren’t going well, I have to carry them.  It’s my responsibility to struggle under their weight.

It’s ok to feel this way. Many of us have been carrying around these bags for a long time. Months. Years.  So I start with just taking a peek, opening the bag and just seeing, what am I actually carrying around?

There’s so much pressure. It starts to release the moment you begin looking. Wow, so much pressure. Guilt. Heavy boulders of guilt. Fear. What will people think? Who do I think I am? Uncertainty. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know who I am or what my strengths are or how I’m supposed to pull this off. Sadness. How did I let this happen? Why can’t I get where I’m supposed to be? Frustration. Seriously, what’s wrong with me?

Your bag may have some mix of these. It may have the voice of a parent or a teacher or a school bully, pointing out where you’re falling short. What you haven’t fixed.

Here’s the truth. It’s safe to put the bag down. It’s safe to release the guilt, the fear, the pain. In fact, acknowledging, accepting and releasing what’s there is the most effective way to move forward.

It’s slow going with a bag of rocks on your back. And bearing that burden isn’t serving anyone, not the people who put those thoughts in your head, not the people who rely on you, and certainly not yourself.

Acknowledge, accept, and release what you find. Feel how whole and safe and loved you are; as is, in this moment, flaws and shortcomings and all. Allow yourself to feel the good, the love. What is working. What you have created. What else is possible.

It’s safe to put the bag down. The world will not end. It’s actually likely to feel a whole lot lighter and easier to bear.

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To putting the bag down!

PS. Even though that’s a tidy ending, I feel it’s important to note - this is a practice. Sometimes you put the bag down and find yourself carrying it again 2 minutes later. Sometimes a particular bag must be put down hundreds of times before it finally leaves you be. That’s ok. Accept the process. Gently set the bag down again and turn your attention back to love.