December 21, 2015

[Reflections] A sack on your back!

Ever get the feeling you are stooping low even when there’s nothing on your back? Ever feel as if something is pulling you down and you can’t see what? Look deeply and you will find an imaginary sack on your mind’s back. The sack started piling stuff in, a long while ago, even before you knew it. Perhaps, when as a baby you were howling with pain and somehow there was no one to pick you up and comfort. Perhaps, when as a child, you had built that amazing sand castle and the people with you were too engrossed in their conversations to notice; Perhaps, as a teenager, when you were ignored or worse, insulted by a group to which you wanted to belong; Perhaps, in all those little and big blows in your relationships; All the dents and bumps you’ve ever received from life. And so, the sack has been filling up by itself. Like that unassuming frog, sitting in water turning hot, the piling weight does not come to our attention at individual moments. Collectively, it starts to wear us down in our work, in our personal lives, in our relationships and in our yearning to do more and be more. 

What then should one do with this pile? It seems like there is no way out of filling it and no way out of being pulled down by its weight? The mind’s hand automatically reaches out to those damaging stones that come labeled as regret, negativity, rejection, failure, loss and on and on. Why does it do it? Perhaps it thinks, ‘This is no stone! It’s a memory and it could be something precious!’ Perhaps, it says to itself, ‘I may not understand it now but if I hold on to it, in time, I’ll mine the diamond out of it!’ And so, the sack bulges!

How can we rise above this burden and stand tall? Can we ever walk upright? Is there a way we can refuse to accept these rocks given to us by life? Can we learn to say, ‘No, thank you! This is of no use to me now or ever’? But if we do that, won’t we miss the lessons of life? Or, do you think we can examine our sacks, sort and throw away all the useless stuff of the past lurking in there? Do we have the time, the patience and the strength to do that?

It doesn’t seem right to throw away every one of those stones for there may indeed be diamonds in them, hidden somewhere. It would be a tragedy to have a ‘spotless mind’, wouldn’t it? Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet would vouch for this. So, we can’t simply dump our sack into the river of amnesia. And in other times, it’s too painful to even look and sort out the dry deserts and fertile forests amongst these. Peering closer, there seems to be another path on this valley of possibilities. Why not become modern alchemists, not to make gold of the sand in the world, but to make feathers of these stones in our sack? Why can’t we all learn the art of making art with our pain? Yes, it may seem beyond us. But stirring that pot of gooey goodness in us and pouring plenty of positivity, we can surely create this magic potion and in no time, our stones will become feathers!

Then just wait and watch the weightlessness of your sack lift your spirit and life. See it make you fly high, far beyond your ‘Can I?'


  1. Ur article made me think of the sack on my mind, filled with many painful items. I decided to check the items patiently and divide good and bad out of it. Nice thought provoking article. Thank u.

    1. Glad it make you think. Thank you for writing back. Good luck with your sorting :-)

  2. You've shown a positive way to look at a problem which otherwise would push you deep down into depression and make you go blank. Every moment that passed by, becomes a memory, in different shades: happy, sad, cheerful, etc. I feel it is a matter of choice. What we choose to recall and relive.. happy memories or unpleasant memories? rewind and smile? or Rewind and scowl? The lesser we recall sad memories, the weaker they become to pop up. So, what we choose to relive and what we choose to ignore makes the difference. I guess this making choice is by itself an art, as you said. And it can be mastered in no time when we have the confidence and answer, 'I can!'

  3. Interesting perspective on making choices. In life though, choices are not so easily made. There are times, when one is overwhelmed by emotion that it seems as if there is no choice at all. Making this choice you mention is not intuitive like art. It's logical and comes through practice and commitment. Also, the dilemma in question is based on lack of confidence and to go to the state of 'I can' from here takes time and patience.

  4. Rightly said :) Many a situation, we tend to be more emotional than rational and logical. True to the saying, Practice makes a man perfect,we should start taking baby steps :)