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

"So why do people go for treks?

Why do they risk their lives to conquer an unseen mountain?

Just for the sake of victory?

To prove that they can achieve anything or is it just a healthier time pass than watching a movie on a weekend?

Those are hardly the reasons. Treks transform you.

You come to know yourself but not by looking within, it is by loosing yourself.

On a trek you hardly remember who you are. You hardly remember what you do in the city for a living. You for some time let go of all the people associated with you. On a deeper level your basic characteristic traits do not matter. All your regrets and your achievements go hide deep in your backpack.

The mountain does not care whether you are a CEO of a multinational or a local sherpa. After walking for sometime in nature you loose your identity and become one with the mountains.

You are no longer the insecure feeble stubborn human being. You are one with the wind. You are one with the mist. You are the birds. You are the greens. You are the freshness. You are alive.

Somehow nothing else matters, your work, your relationships, nothing. All that matters is the next step. It could give you a firm footing and confidence to move ahead or it can lead you to a fifty foot fall.

In that decisive moment you are alive. More alive than ever.

That’s when you completely lose yourself and realize who you truly are.

Each moment reveals newer potentials. You swim across unknown waters of your soul.

Through falling you realize that you have the strength to get up.

Through bruising you realize that you have the power to be healed.

Through being alone you realize your own freedom.

In the everyday routine of life, all of us forget who we truly are. In fact being on a trek is one of the very few times when we actually remember!"

Trekker

There is an old piece of advice, maybe you’ve heard it. It goes something like “You don’t really know who a person is, until you know who they are when they’re mad.”

For those not familiar, this is often advice given to young couples before they consider marriage.

For us trekkers, the advice is : Make sure you go trekking together, before you consider marrying each other!

Here’s why….

In an artificial setting like a coffee shop, restaurant or a park, you only talk.

Yet, we spend most of our married life doing things – making breakfast, going to office, sending the kids to school. And in doing these ordinary tasks we display our love, respect and consideration towards one another. It cements our bond and our marriage becomes stronger.

But those are things you cannot get a sense of while sipping overpriced coffee.

However, on a 5-6 day trek, the mask of the city wears off quickly and the real person surfaces.

There is no better place to evaluate a partner than on a trek.

Here’s why:

1. Trekking is not a “walk in the park.” It’s hard work… and the best way to tell if you have a complaining partner. If so, you can be sure married life with them will be similar.

2. Like a trek, life is a series of cooperation – at home and work. If your partner doesn’t exhibit a sense of cooperation on a 5-6 day trek… you can guess what the next 50 years may be like.

3. There are any number of things that can go wrong on a trek. And in life. Trekking is the perfect way to see if your partner deals with bad situations in a cool and composed manner. A dose of humour is a bonus.

4. Trekking gives you a true sense of how your partner gets along with others. Beware of a partner who is glued to your side on a trek, and doesn’t socialise with others.

5. A considerate partner is far more important in life than a loving partner. Trekking gives constant opportunity to evaluate this. Does your partner show consideration to the world? Do they pick up fallen chocolate wrappers? Have a kind word and gesture towards others?

6. Trekking will quickly show you whether your partner is a self sufficient human being… Or someone who gives orders (however sweetly), for others to get things for them.

(As we have heard, “A partner who orders is a menace for the future.”)

Over the course of a 5 day trek, you can learn a lifetime of information about someone (for some people, this is found out just in travel to basecamp!).

For that matter, it can be a great way to meet a well-suited partner as well!

Lest you marry the wrong one.

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