12/29/2020: That Invisible Backpack We’re All Carrying Around

I’ve heard the build up of stress & trauma in our system described w so many diff analogies.

When my psychologist Donna first heard my story, she said it was like I had: a front row seat to a muddy wrestling match, & every move made by the ppl I cared abt, to fight & stay alive against what they were battling, was like the mud from their “moves” splashing from the canvas & hitting me & caking up on my body. Unlike other sporting events that end in 3 hrs, I didn’t know to get up in this “game of life” wrestling match, & so eventually the mud caked so much on me, it dried, got so heavy, it stopped me in my tracks & took me down.

We’ve described stress & trauma in SameHere sessions as: water continuing to be poured in an overflowing boiling pot of water, or even air continuing to fill up your “brain balloon” to the point where you’ve over expanded it & it may pop.

But perhaps one the best analogies is an invisible backpack we’re all carrying arnd, that continues to get heavier w each difficult life event, or thought that bothers us. If we don’t reach IN our bags, take things out over time, put them in their proper place, that bag becomes so heavy, we really start to feel it/it interferes w our daily lives.

We did that poll in stories, & 78% of you said: things you thought abt as a child, but were afraid to ask abt, that perseverated in your minds, were more of the heavy variety than the light/minutia kinda things. 

Isn’t this impt to know? That our backpacks often start off from a young age w some HEAVY stuff in them, that only gets heavier the more we question them/less we openly talk abt them?

Thx to a couple of community members who vulnerably shared something that I think needs to be discussed: we’re born, we start learning abt the world, & unless we take a philosophy class in college, trip on acid at Burning Man, or have a terminal fam member, we rarely openly talk abt things like – Why are we here? Where does the universe end? What’s a possible afterlife look like/logically I can’t understand it? Things our human brains have a very tough time understanding.

These questions are not easy. They can make us face mortality head on.  But what’s the alternative? Should we be starting w a very heavy base to our backpacks, that only gets heavier as we struggle w some of life’s most confusing questions?  Sharing some of my own fears w these questions & hearing that others struggle w the same was SUCH a huge relief for me. I still don’t have answers – bc there are none. But, doesn’t it make our bags lighter when we feel less alone & know we aren’t strange for questioning these things? Overall, our bags get lighter when we give space each other to take things out & address them. We can def better gift that to each other early on. 

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