the things we carry

the things we carry
I have a rucksack.
It’s my means of transporting my chattels around, to and from work.

You probably have something too? A handbag, a briefcase, a shoulder bag, a plastic bag, a wheelie trolley…

We carry our accoutrements of living with us. Papers, iPad, pens, lip-salve, a book or kindle maybe, phone, make-up, hand cream, wallet or purse… You’ll have your own contents.

We do this in life too. Carry the contents of our humanity.

Our loyalty, our guilt, our goals, our dreams, our expectations, our fears, our vulnerability, our shame, our hopes, our thoughts, our feelings, our hurt, our aspirations, our pain, our mistakes…

Not perhaps in our bag, or rucksack, but with us nonetheless.

And we might think they are hidden, invisible, inside us, but they are not. They are there in the system. Invisible obstacles.

For a bit like our bag, our rucksack or our wheelie trolley, on the bus, train or pavement, these invisible things we carry, knock into people. They rub against shoulders or legs, obstruct views, trip people up, cause people to take a wider path, take up human space and force other human beings to take avoiding action.

They also weigh us down, change our posture, cause us to list towards one shoulder. They twist us as we pull, with one hand, our trollied lives rumbling behind us. They engage one arm or hand, reducing our ability to engage with life ambidextrously, fully. They generate pain and discomfort from their burden.

But they’re your shoulders.

Reflect on what you carry and how you carry it.

The seduction of addiction

seduction of addiction
Drug addiction can be a destructive thing.

Yet we are all drug addicts and at the same time drug pushers.

Our addiction in life is often our way of being. It is seductive to stay with the familiar, however much that familiar harms us, limits us, hurts us.

Being exhausted. Lonely. Always moving. Looking out. Looking in. Critical. On the edge. Miserable. Hyped. Caring for others. Not caring for yourself. Catastrophising. Leaking power. Being guilty. Hiding. Needing love. Taking responsibility. Blaming. Saving. Out of balance. Looking back… and many more drugs of familiarity. Each with a high. Each with a low.

We can also become used to beating ourselves up in that internal dialogue of not good enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, not talented enough… In a strange way the familiarity keeps us safe. It becomes seductive to keep doing it. Hard to kick the habit. We find ways to give ourselves the fix – seeking evidence to prove the theory, so we can reaffirm its ‘truth’ again, and so stay safe.

We can do this in relationships too. Give our power away. Bemoan the way the behaviour of others makes us think or feel. Yet we are often drawn back, to get another dose. Sometimes because there is an element of that interaction, that relationship, which meets an unspoken need deep within. It gives us a reward. An unconscious lift, an energising boost, a buzz. But all before we experience the fall, the difficult feeling, the disappointment, the hurt, the down after the drug wears off.

Beware the pushers. Those who draw you in with their sweeties. But especially look out for the pusher within. The part of you that also gets you hooked; seduces you; feeds you the familiar yet painful drug.

Choose what you consume. Notice what is addictive. Seek out the truth of the seduction.