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.