A thought occurred to me out of the blue yesterday, “The past is past. The only part of it that can affect you, is the part you choose to carry with you.” It certainly caught my attention. It’s not a new idea, of course, but perhaps one that I needed a reminder of, as I’ve been reflecting on the year 2009 over the past week. There were a couple important things that happened that year for me, some of which were emotionally challenging.There was such a sense of freedom in the idea of not carrying it all forward with me. As I sat with it the following words came.
Packing for the Journey
What if the past is a backpack that I put on each day,
and each morning when I rise I choose what I will carry forward with me?
What if I imagine that each memory, each moment of my past
weighed the same; traumas and celebrations alike?
If today is a journey I am about to embark upon,
what shall I pack?
I look to the journey of this day and sort through the memories I’ve laid out.
I pack memories that will keep me warm.
I pack the map of lessons learned to help me find the best route forward.
I pack the knowing of those in my life who will walk beside me.
I pack the wisdom of my ancestors, and my love for those I’ve lost.
I pack my circle of friends, like a life preserver I always have if needed.
I pack moments of joy and laughter as a reminder that sorrow has a companion.
I pack the insights gained to use as a cushion for moments of quiet reflection.
I pack the love I have received, as a gift I know I can now give to others along the way.
Pausing, I find that my bag is nearly full.
If I really wanted to, I could squeeze in hurt feelings,
or that grudge I’ve been carrying.
However, there certainly doesn’t seem to be room for that person I’ve been choosing not to forgive,
or that disagreement that I didn’t want to let go of.
Well, maybe I could squeeze that one in!
Or, better yet, I could leave a little space in my pack for growth
and begin the journey of today a little lighter than the day before,
not weighed down by the past.
May you pack lightly for the journey of today!