Sometimes, you just have to be resiliant. There are many things in this life that are unsettling. Loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of a job, loss of ambition and/or the desire to thrive. Some people are better equipped to deal with loss and change. Why is that? Did they have better, stronger, more caring parents who taught them these things? Is it a personality trait? Is it a learned strength and power? Are we all capable of possessing that strength? Of course we are – but each of us carry a bag chock full of self-doubt and trepidation. When we try to deal with life’s difficult transitions — the bag gets heavier and heavier, so much so that we can’t think of anything but that damn bag!
When I travel, I usually like to travel as light as I can. I will take a smaller purse and a carry-on rather than a checked bag. Even if we are driving and we have room for a big suitcase, I try to minimize everything I’m taking…I don’t want the hassle of hauling around a huge bag of stuff that I may or may not use. This is the perfect approach for that other bag. But how do we eliminate the contents or, at the very least, pare down the number of contents?
Visualize pulling everything out of the bag – make a display of the contents on an imaginary bed: fear, anxiety, pain, insecurity, anger.
Let’s see…fear can be useful because it can help give you an edge – prepare you for “fight or flight” – but maybe not SO MUCH fear. Perhaps we can leave the fear of not being good enough behind – put it in the closet, it will be there when we return.
Anxiety is something we never really NEED but we certainly keep it close at hand. Let’s take most of anxiety and put it with fear. We can keep the anxiety over “time management” with us – then it will prevent us from being late to any appointments or meetings.
Pain is not so easy to leave behind unless it is something that we have been dragging along for too long (that would be resentment) and let’s just stuff that behind anxiety. We’ve been hurt, the offender has not once asked for forgiveness – but it has been taking up room in the bag for far too long. Fresh hurt will not be tossed aside so lets just put it in the bag but keep it in a Ziploc and maybe it won’t leak out onto the rest of the items in the bag.
Insecurity. I don’t know about you but this takes up most of the room in my bag. Usually, it will join with fear and anxiety and swell up like grape nuts in a bowl of milk. VERY heavy and hard to swallow. Since it is the biggest and most difficult to handle, we will slowly eliminate small portions from the bag. So let’s gingerly remove insecurity about the way we are perceived and neatly store it with the others in the closet.
Anger. That is the sneaky little bugger. Most of the time, you forget it is in the bag until it comes roaring out with a vengeance. By then it is so big that it draws the bag down on your shoulder, the weight seems to double and you have to set it down to catch your breath. It is a little easier to leave anger behind because we can pretend it was never in the bag – but remember that it is in the closet or it will blow your hair back when you open that door again.
Okay. Now the bag is lighter and more manageable. This is how real grownups deal with their issues. We feel better, much more agile on our feet. We go about our day with a new found freedom. And at the end of the day, we go to the closet. Damn, should have just put them directly into the bag marked “good will”….