Carrying Unnecessary Weight?

A few years ago, at a personal development event I attended, a hiking challenge taught me a lesson I'm still finding ways to apply to support me. As the story goes, roughly twenty team members were on a hike in the hot desert mountains of California. We had to carry full jugs of water, bricks, and cinder blocks for points, and the hike would be timed and part of a competition. We were instructed that the lead water bucket was supposed to be able to see the secondary water at the rear at all times, but that was forgotten. We also found a plank worth points, so we carried that, too. It started with a collective effort, and we were rotating.

We continued making good time, and arguments began to pop up regarding leaving the group we could no longer see and who was "leading" this new group. The backpacks we had strapped to the plank began to get heavy, and it no longer made sense to carry all of them the way we had been. As the group started to outpace my partner buddy and me, tired from sweating in the sun and carrying the plank, we decided to revisit the purpose of this exercise. Carrying items was optional and was solely for accruing points to win the competition hike. Others pushed along to reach the final peak, and there were just eight people when the bags came off. One bag was left unclaimed, and my partner and I continued to carry it. I wanted to leave it behind, but whatever, I thought.

When we were on a mandatory break, I checked the bag we were carrying since the collective rotation had left us behind. And in the bag, three bricks. No one's stuff. I checked again. I wanted to know the owner, but nothing. My partner and I shouted and swore, ultimately deciding to leave it, knowing the owner would eventually find their bag their way back. We had been sweating and enduring a hard time voluntarily carrying someone else's bag of bricks.

Imagine the surprise and eventual laughter when we realized that our complaints were even more not of our making nor our responsibility to maintain. The bag's owner had run off and left us, and the rest of the group, for that matter. Soon, we both moved so much better and helped other team members who were left behind with the secondary water jug on our return.

This story feels relevant to where I find myself now. I am still on my journey but carrying something, not mine. I feel left carrying the baggage and weight of someone no longer present, and a couple of months ago, I began journaling about who I’d allowed into my space, noticing what I felt left with.

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Moving Forward

I want to take accountability, acknowledge what I appreciate, and conclude the energy and stories around what I felt left with from being with others who are not serving me. I am not carrying your backpack of bricks forward in my life.

To the Unloved Care Bear version of myself, who is afraid to say what is on my heart at times, experience the end of feeling untrusted because you're carrying a story and negative energy from an experience that impacts how you're showing up moving forward. Certain moments have affected my voice. I recognize this cycle and the context of right and wrong but am more hyperaware after my experience from a different program a couple of years ago.

This post has been weighing on my heart, and if someone feels they might not appreciate my perspective or what I say, that is out of my control and something I accept. I have a voice, perspective, and experience and will share them without fear of this perceived authority opinion. Without fear of saying the wrong thing about how I wanted to be as a writer or a coach. I’m learning more about how I’ve internalized a voice of self-doubt from long ago for survival and, for a curious reason, recently, why I feel “someone else” introduced chatter regarding how coaches are supposed to be writing, how coaches are supposed to be perceived, and how I'm supposed to be. The "supposed to" became an echo.

I want to share new knowledge and information and be a resource for where one can begin and what you can try when creating meaningful change in your life. Even to share what may not be commonly known or actively sought out to learn until your mental health and well-being demand your attention and enough becomes enough to commit to creating changes and stepping into new possibilities for how your life could be in your very near present.

This article is about completion and the experience of removing this energy from my space. As I once heard describing completion, "You will remember, but the energy has shifted." I had lingering emotions about what I wanted and experienced and the barriers to moving forward.

Earlier this year, I was reading the book Why We Do What We Do by Edward L. Deci, which re-engaged my curiosity and motivation. I’ve been thinking about what had shifted for myself and came across new insights around autonomy and something I was stuck by. If my patterns of self-doubt are a result of experience and trauma as a child, then perhaps my journey is taking a new turn into a new area of research.

***

What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post? Leave a comment below or send me your feedback to connect@wherethechangehappens.com.

Can I ask for your help? Where the Change Happens and After the Divorce: From Looking Back to Leaning In, could reach other readers like you by reading a helpful review on Amazon. Click here to leave your review for Where the Change Happens and here to review After the Divorce to help your community discover where they can begin to create meaningful change in their relationships today.

If you've enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you.

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