Are you carrying your baggage around? Do you feel like you have a chain around your leg, pulling you back or are you feeling stuck, trapped or like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
We all envisage these metaphors from time to time. They are so helpful to express our struggles and suffering. But what few people realise is that these metaphors can be used to free us from our suffering.
The power of metaphor is incredible. Imagine in your mind the baggage you’ve been carting around, whether it’s stress, worries or a sense that you’re just not enough. See it. Feel the weight of it, can you pick it up with one hand or do you need two?
Whatever’s in your bag, I want you to get rid of it. Be creative, throw it in the deepest ocean or launch it into space. Destroy your bag, blow it up, watch it burn or simply, just decide to put the bag down and walk away.
How does it feel to be unencumbered? Feel lighter? Good.
Now for some of you, you’re thinking how does this really help?
What it is that I want you to understand is that metaphors speak to the unconscious mind so if you want real change now, you need to put the bag down consciously and unconsciously. If we change our outlook consciously and say we’ve let our troubles go, it will only get us so far. For real change, we need to tap into our unconscious mind and change how we perceive our situation from the inside out.
For me, the metaphor was not a bag, but a scar. I visited some Christian interventionists many years ago and they ask me to see my pain. I saw a scar right down my torso. This metaphor was helpful as it articulated my suffering, but I used it to do much more. I used this scar to envisage my healing. As the months went by I threw myself into my recovery, getting inspired by great people, mending relationships and searching for a higher purpose. All these conscious activities helped me reach my goal but my success came from my inner work, my unconscious activity. I visualised the scar regularly and every time I did I added a stitch. Stitch by stitch I mended and felt the pain ease and now it’s fully healed.
As fate would have it, I now have an actual scar right up my torso from a recent surgery. As this scar heals, it mirrors the internal scar I once had. It serves as a daily reminder of the challenges I have already overcome and ultimately reassures me that I have the ability to heal myself. And so do you!
So now it’s your turn. How can you see your troubles and change them to serve you? You can decide to unshackle yourself, swim to shore or just put the bag down? It’s up to you.