Life as the Backpack

Wed01Aug18

How many of you have ever over packed for a trip on an air-plane? How many of you, once you reach at your destination, realise that you don’t need most of what you brought? You make a mental note for next time not to bring so much.

But, now with all the new luggage rules and regulations, you really can’t take too much with you anymore. So, the decision has been made for you. Isn’t life like this too? When we were children, our parents made decisions for us. But, when we become adults, we start making our own decisions.

Needless to say, some of these decisions are not always the best. But, this is how we learn. Picture your life as the backpack.

We are born, we go to school, we play and we grow. Our backpacks are pretty light as we have others taking on responsibility for us. Our parents, teachers, siblings and extended family members are all helping us to carry our backpacks for us.

Then, we grew up, graduated from school, got a job and started taking on responsibility for carrying our own backpacks.

At this point of time, the weight is bearable as we embark on what is called the Journey of Life.

The funny thing is that most of us could not wait to get here! Somewhere on the way to adulthood, we may have had heart-breaks or loss that weighs our backpacks down, but we are young and strong and keep going. Eventually, most of us get married and start families.

This increased responsibility starts adding more weight to our backpacks. But, we are oblivious of the added weight, as our hearts are light with the love for our spouse and our children.

Time goes on and the roles that we play within our relationships start to take their toll. We are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and so on. The straps are getting uncomfortable. The added stress starts putting impact on us, and we react by overeating, overworking, drinking, taking drugs, indulging in infidelity, or just plain checking out.

Our bodies become heavy, tired and sluggish.

Then, as we go along, comes more to add to the backpack: problems in our relationships, at work, with our children or our families. The straps start digging in, can you feel them?

Just when we think things are getting better, our parents start having health issues. Now, we are juggling our own family, our parents, and whatever else is going on. Can you feel the weight? Are the straps leaving gouges on your shoulders yet?

Sometimes, it gets to the point when the weight is almost too much to bear. We cannot take and go on anymore. Our strength is gone. Some may give up at this point, some may check out, using drugs or alcohol to numb themselves to the world around them. Some will walk away from their responsibilities, or wish that they should.

What is the difference between those who walk away from their responsibilities and those of us that carry our backpacks fully loaded, so to speak, and still get up every day and still take care of our families, do our jobs, visit our parents or hang out with friends?

The answer is simple.

The former ones lack spirituality and values like faith, love, compassion, forgiveness whereas the latter ones keep these values intact in their life. They make a choice everyday of what they put into their backpacks to offset the weight.

They make a choice everyday to lighten their load. They choose having faith in God, their coaches and their family members, and, most importantly, in themselves also.

What are you choosing to put into your backpack, called life?

Is it anger, pain and suffering, or is it love, compassion and forgiveness?

If it is the latter, you are well on your way to lightening your backpack. So, take care of and be conscious of what are you choosing today? What are you putting into your backpack? I know what is mine. You can remake or repack your backpack by choosing and putting values in it I leave you with an option to repack.

Don’t let what is in your backpack at present define your life. You can redefine your life by choosing or putting values and spirituality in it and thereby lead a value-based life.

Originally at https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/life-as-the-backpack

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