Bag of Rocks
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk
We often carry our past hurts, traumas, lost loves; disappointments like a bag of rocks that weigh us down and won’t allow us to be fully free. When we fail to let go of the past we are not free to embrace the good that is available to us today and the good that is waiting in our future. Worse yet, is how we look at our “rocks” as proof that there is little hope for us moving forward.
It is vital to our happiness to examine what we learn, the lessons, the beliefs we carry around because of our bag of rocks. We all have something. Have we learned or come to believe we are victims or that we are weak, or we are defective, or we are unlovable? How about learning and believing how very strong we are to have lived through such difficult, even traumatic times? How about learning that when we lost a love that we can always love again because we have proven we carry love within us and the capacity to give and receive love? How about learning and believing that despite the rocks and sometimes because of the rocks we have grown in ways we never would have otherwise? It is from the severely difficult times that I have learned deep compassion. It is from experiencing hellacious cruelty that I have learned to my bones how wrong cruelty is and has honed me to be a person unwilling to the inflict cruelty. The experience of neglect has profoundly increased my understanding of the importance of showing love, care and attention to the people who cross my path in life.
I have learned time and time again that I flourish when I am grateful, and I shrivel when I am not. I have learned when unexpected tough and challenging life events occur to ask, “What is the good in this?” I have learned to ask, “What can I learn from this?”
I also have had beliefs I had to unlearn: anger equals violence was one of my biggest. This belief kept me in fear and controlled me when there was no need. Believing I was responsible “to make things better” prompted me to micro-manage and be controlling. Unlearning and still working on completely unlearning the belief “I must be responsible, even when it is not mine to be responsible for,” not only relieves me from an unnecessary burden it relieves the people who are in my life.
Let us be careful for the lessons we learn and the beliefs we carry. The depth and breadth and happiness of our lives is at stake.
-Mary Seyuin, M.A. LLP