When we fall and hurt ourselves, our body develops a scab to heal itself. As soon as the body heals, the scab falls and the body is back to being light and free. Imagine, if the scab never fell. Imagine, if everytime we got hurt we accumulated more dead skin on top of our body. Imagine, the weight of the dead cells we would be carrying in a few years and over a lifetime. How grotesque our body would look and how heavy it would feel with so much baggae to carry. Now imagine that one day someone came along and took off a piece of the dead skin to reveal a clean finger hiding underneath it. You would discover what clean skin feels like, movement without dead skin feels like. You would discover all the new things you could do with this new, light, clean finger. If you are willing and open in your mind, you might even discover the possibility that maybe, just maybe, some day more parts of your body could be free from dead skin. Imagine, how uplifting the thought would be – just the possibility of being able to live light and free.
I feel like that today. Uplifted. Because I shed a tiniest piece of baggage off my soul. This is what I learnt in the process.
Just like our body, we face a lot of experiences during the time we live in this body. Some experiences are great and some are not so good. Each time we come across harsh experiences which we are not prepared to deal with, we build a shell around us to protect us from that experience. Think about, as a child, how you dealt with a bully in school, or a strict teacher or a mental/physical abusive relationship at home. Because we were not sure how to deal with it at that time, we learnt to hide behind a protective armor that we built around us inside our head. As long as we could retract inside this armor, we would be safe. The armor was heavy. It was dark inside the armor but it surely felt safe inside it, so we continued to wear it. If the fear ran too deep or the need for the armor extended over a long time, we became better at carrying it around with us, so much so that one day we forgot that we were even wearing that. It had become a part of us. Years went by and life continued to throw a variety of muck at us. Sometimes we covered ourselves with plastic sheets, sometimes with old newspapers and sometimes when faced with hard hitting bullets we used steel. Over time, we just got better at making our protective shields and carrying them all around with us.
As the weight of these so called protective layers kept increasing, we have became heavier and rigid. Even though it is hard, we have learnt to operate with these layers constantly piled up on us. We are slow, tired and in pain but we have no idea what is making life so hard for us. For, like everyone else around us, we too have forgotten the weight of the armour that we had put on us when the first bully punched us in school. Even when we have learnt how to deal with life without adding more safety nets around us, we still carry the old ones around, all the time, just because we have forgotten that they even exist.
For anyone out there, who feels life is hard for them, you know what I am talking about. The constant weight we are carrying on top of us literally manifests on our physical body in aching shoulders, sore knees or worse medical conditions. We find it so hard to manage children, run the house, keep the boss happy and juggle health and entertainment all at the same time. We work so hard day and night to keep the lights running, to keep the future secure and to maintain the social structure in our lives. And yet, each night we come back home and wonder why all of this seems to hard. We wonder, this was not the life we dreamed to have. We wonder, is there something different we could do?
I have learnt that unless we are even aware of the baggage we are carrying, we have no way of setting ourselves free from it. People used to tell me, “You are under stress. You need to relax”. And I would say, “Who me? No way! I am strong and focussed. I am happy juggling the challenges of life. I am not in stress.” Looking back, I can see I had become so good at carrying the weight around me that the weight had become me. I could not even imagine that it was possible to have a life that was light. After all, I am a parent, a daughter, a wife, a manager, a social worker – if I had to perform all these roles well, l had to work hard. How could all of this be easy?
I have learnt, that life can be easy. Life can be fun. And I have experienced this by just chipping a slight dead skin off my little finger. If just this little loss of weight can be so uplifting, I am overwhelmed to imagine the possibilities. How I did it or rather how it happened in my life, is something I will not write about now. For now, I want you to know, it is possible to lose the dead weight we are carrying around in our life. It is possible if we are willing to believe that the weights exists and there are methods to shed it.