I tell participates in my workshops and classes about my backpack of worries. I believe we all have an invisible backpack that we set beside our beds at night before we go to sleep. As soon as we get up each morning, we pick it up and put it on. We begin filling it with our baggage. We add our worries, stresses, and fears into this backpack. We carry it around with us all day. It gets heavier as the day goes on because we always find more things to pick up and shove in. It hurts our neck, shoulders, back, and often gives us headaches. We don’t acknowledge the weight as we heave more crap into our backpack.
My backpack is brown, not a pretty brown. An ugly, murky, muddy brown just like the stuff I put into it. What is interesting about what I most often put into by bag, is that most of the things in there are not mine to carry. They are not things I can do anything about. They belong to other people or other causes but I carry them just the same.
Lily Tomlin said, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody”. I believe that we all can do something to make a difference in the world around us. I have to be aware of the things I am concerned about and follow up with actions for the worries that I can effect. There are plenty of issues in this world that I am passionate about and I try to make a difference where I can.
I try to think about the things I put in my worry backpack. Notice, I said “try”. Some issues that I do not have control over manage to find their way in anyway, then I have to dig through and throw them out. I try to assess if what I am worrying about is mine to carry. I look to see if it is something that will cause distress in some way to carry it. And, as I mentioned before, I make sure it is something I can personally do something about.
Each night I unpack the backpack of worries and I try to let go of most of it.
I empty my stresses and let them go.
I would like for you to try to fill your backpack with positivity.
Fill it with joy.
Fill it with hope.
Fill it with memories.
Fill it with love.
Fill it so full of things to celebrate that there is not much room for things that will weigh you down. Do this to take care of you.
I love this quote about worry from Erma Bombeck.
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”