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As a child I always wanted to please my parents and when I didn’t I started a life-long collection of shadows that would soon fill this invisible long bag that I dragged behind me. By the time I started school the bag became quite large. By the time I was a teenager my bag was a mile long with more bag stuffing in high school and college.

I had spent the first twenty plus years deciding what parts of myself I put in this bag and I have been trying to get them out ever since. Well that is not entirely true. There was a time in my twenties and early thirties that I just went unconscious and just hauled around this bag wherever I went. I worked hard at keeping it sealed yet amazingly enough what was in the bag would leak out and show up in my life regularly. It was not until I went through a relationship workshop, PAIRS, that I was able to start taking a real glimpse at what I had put in my bag for years. At first it was so overwhelming and scary, all I wanted to do was put it back, close it up and move on. What I found was when I opened the bag up and started looking at these parts of me, I started to reclaim parts of myself that had been dormant for years. I realized that the more I looked at my bag, the more life energy I reclaimed…..think about it….dragging a big bag takes energy.

Since that time, over 20 years ago, I have worked to lighten my bag. Interestingly enough, all the shadows and parts of me in my bag are not dark….in fact, some of the more powerful ones are my golden shadows or parts of me and my brilliance that I put away years ago. Our culture teaches us to embrace humility and I agree…. AND I also agree we must love and nurture ourselves enough to claim our wonder and brilliance. Human behavior is paradoxical in that manner….. holding selfishness and humility simultaneously.

I have grown to love my bag as it is who I am. It is no longer a mile long and I now have the courage and support to look at these parts and shadows….…..all of which were in the bag all along.

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