Getting to the bottom of the bag.

  Carry a small bag so you don’t have to carry too much weight.  Heavy baggage damages your shoulder and your neck and your back and your psyche. ~ Pat

My daughter and her family brought me this little bag from Hawaii where they recently spent their summer vacation.  It’s hand-painted and embroidered and quite lovely to look at.  It has just enough space for my essentials which are minimal.  I’ve learned that if I carry a small bag I’ll fill it up or if I carry a large one the same thing happens.  I definitely prefer the lighter weight.  Back in the day when I needed a super-sized one to carry diapers, training pants, etc., I found that everyone in the family had something they needed me to carry because I always had room for one more item in the giant atrocity.  I usually trailed behind in the airport and now I wonder if they knew it was because I was carrying such a heavy load.

Have you ever noticed, when you carry a heavy burden like the one mentioned above, it can be very difficult to get to the bottom of the bag to unload the one thing that you need to remove?  I find life to be much like that, too.  If I carry around every bad, sad, unfair thing that has happened to me, it’s not easy to find and deal with things that may really need my attention.  Just as the physical load can damage my body, so can the emotional baggage overload my psyche, my ability to deal with everyday strife.

When I get in a philosophical frame of mind like this I start to realize that my divorce probably did happen for a reason.  Maybe it was Kismet if you believe in that sort of thing.  I’m not sure I do.  Even though D traveled for a living when we were married, and I had plenty of time to deal with all the problems that were me, I was able to avoid them.  I could focus instead on his chronic illness, our latest conversation or lack thereof, and what he said, what I said or didn’t say.  I wrapped too much of myself, my life around what he was doing, thinking, or  not doing, thinking.  He never asked me to do that.  Maybe I did it to avoid looking at my core issues.

I realize now that I carried a lot of baggage from my family of origin.  I had a victim mentality long before the divorce hit.  Also a fear of abandonment.  Both probably came from my mother and her insecurities.  (I’m not blaming her.  She did the very best she could.)  If we become what we think, then it was inevitable that I would become the victim of divorce and abandonment.  And so I did.

The happy side of this story is that today when I look at myself I’m okay with who I am.  If I see something I don’t like I try to change it.  If it’s so resistant to change that I’m wasting too much energy on it, then acceptance goes a long way.  And life is good.

A note that has nothing to do with this post:  I was sitting on the couch a little before 2:00 this afternoon, my feet and legs resting on the coffee table.  Suddenly the table started to move, tremble.  It went on for maybe 30 seconds.  It dawned on me that it was an earthquake, a very rare event on the east coast.  The epicenter was near Richmond, VA, but it was felt far and wide along the Atlantic Coast states.  It was a very eerie feeling, one that I had not experienced before.

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14 thoughts on “Getting to the bottom of the bag.

  1. Thanks, Lady E. I think the fact that you’re writing a blog this early in your divorce proceedings will help immensely. Writing it down helps to sort through it. I did that with journals for a long time but the healing didn’t really start until I started to share it with others via blogging. At the rate you’re going you’ll get to where you need to be while you’re still young. And that’s great.
    Hugs. Pat

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  2. I agree with the others, you have hit the nail on the head here, and interestingly, I have also recently realised that I too carry a heavy burden from my own family past, a feeling of not being good enough and a plaguing fear of abandonment. Both probably related to my own mum too, who did the best she could but is only human. The interesting question for me here is where do we go from here? I know I am insecure and I know it probably dates back from infancy, but what do I do with this? How do I change?
    You seem to have managed the change, and that is great in itself…
    x

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  3. The thing is you have grown as a person through all this, even though the “lesson” was unwelcome. What I can say there is a “comfortable in your own skin “quality about you which is laways lovely to find, in my opinion, in some way, you’ve endedup in a better place

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  4. Hi Judith. Thanks for reading and for your comments. I would have to say that this is one of those lessons I wish I could have learned earlier. That’s life. At least I know now.

    About subscribing, if your screen is like mine there’s a bar across the top and among other things, it says “follow”. You should be able to left click there and you will become a subscriber. If that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll try to figure out why. Thanks for asking. I appreciate your interest.

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  5. Hi Pat. It srems that you have hit the nail on the head. How easy to concentrate on our spouses, children etc when we should really be looking inside ourselves. Thanks for sharing.
    As a Life Coach I used to tell my clients that everything starts with a thought. So if we think of becoming a victim guess what, that is what we become.

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  6. It seems a lot of us do this. We seem to make sure our life revolves around others. That could be our parents, our spouses, our friends. Anyone but ourselves.
    I too am guilty of this crime. Its not something that was asked of us to do, but we do it anyway. Now that we know it the question is why? Are we just people pleasers who forget to please ourselves? Are we looking for approval from others? Or are we really just avoiding something in ourselves?

    Great post Pat. This sure has got me thinknig…

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  7. This is so true. And you’ve written it so well. I so often did the same in my marriage. I spent far too much time worrying if Alex was OK I forgot about me.

    BTW How interesting to have a mini earthquake!

    Have a lovely day
    xxx

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    • Well, at least we know to take care of ourselves now. Too bad it took so long to understand that we weren’t supposed to fade into the other person.

      That’s quite a conversation you have going! Amazing.

      Take care.

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