Monday, September 28, 2015

If you can own it, you can carry it

This post will surprise some of you. I often talk in metaphors because they are a very compact form of communication. A metaphor uses something known to explain something new or intangible. In a very few words, you can sketch in a web of relationships and meanings. Although many people don't know the word 'metaphor' very well, they use metaphors unconsciously. It may be that metaphors are hard wired into our brains.


image credit: Criss Cross via free images (license)

Sometimes the wires get crossed.

One of the great achievements of human beings is that we figured out how to own more than we can carry. There was a time when a person could own only what they could move around on their own. That was a long time ago. Now we own houses, cars, furniture, and overstuffed backpacks. We own more than we can carry.

This is fine until we use our stuff for a metaphor of our internal experience. We are afraid to face many elements of our experience because we are conditioned to believe that it's possible to own more than you can carry. But the stuff of experience is not like the stuff you can put in a garage. We are already carrying all of our own experience, even the parts that are stuffed at the back of our mental closets where we can hide them and even, for long periods of time, forget them. We can carry even the parts of ourselves we are trying to disown.

So if you can own that part of yourself, you can carry it. You might need to strengthen some emotional muscle to carry it without pain. You might need to build some flexibility to move easily with it under different conditions. But if you can own it, you can carry it.

Your emotional baggage is always carry on. And it's always labelled so clearly that it will be returned no matter how often you "forget" it in the boarding lounge.


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