Take off the backpack…

School is just around the corner. It seems like summer just started in MN, and already the aisles of Target are filled with school supplies. I’m not talking about a school backpack, although those can get very heavy. I’m talking about the burdens we carry around daily.

What’s in your backpack? Guilt, shame, responsibility, fear, anger, resentment, comparison, old stories that no longer serve you? If I picture all of the things that are in my backpack, I start to feel the weight of it. At times, it has felt so heavy, I didn’t know if I could move forward. I wanted to just stay in bed, hide from the world and hope it would all go away. I’ve felt the weight of infertility, of being the primary income for our family, of cancer, of my own weight/health… you get the idea. It has also felt like I was carrying the backpack through quicksand at times.

Someone shared with me a valuable exercise… I will share it with you too. We all need reminders that it’s ok to lay those burdens down. Picture that backpack filled with all of your “stuff”… regardless of its size at the moment, picture yourself taking it off. Take the straps off your shoulders. Picture it thumping down to the ground, as the dust flies. Step back from the backpack and lift your arms up. Give it over to God (or your higher power or the universe etc.) and see yourself announcing, “I’m done! This is no longer mine to carry! I give it over to you!” Do you feel physically lighter?

I can hear some of you…”Oh, that’s silly. Why would I do that? Those things define me… I need those burdens.” But do you? Do you really? This isn’t a one time experience… it’s something you have to keep doing. Whether you wait for that backpack to be so full, you can hardly move, or if you lay it down daily, it’s for sure something to do more than once.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you take the time to lay your burdens down…you don’t need them. They don’t serve you!

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