Are You Carrying Around A Bag Of Rocks?
We all come through childhood with our ego scaffolding or “self-structures” firmly established. We have beliefs, expectations as to how the world “should” function, emotional baggage, fears, a well established “false self” or “self” that we think others want to see when they look at us, and most importantly, we often have a very well rehearsed “sad story” that explains our life.
These childhood ego “structures” and cultural conditioning are the bag of rocks many of us carry through our entire life.
Until we make the decision to intentionally become self-aware, we are destined to carry these emotional and cognitive “rocks” into every aspect of our lives. We carry them into every relationship we have with others, we carry them to work, we use them to “interpret” the meaning of every experience we have in life, and most importantly, we use these rocks, especially the rock called “our personal life story”, as reasons why we can’t do this, or that, or why we’re not successful, or why we’re not happy.
Our childhood ego has a “rock” that explains why every experience “happens” to us.
If we are willing to embrace the courage to pay attention whenever we have a strong emotional response, or “knee-jerk reaction to life, we will discover that intentional self-awareness is easy. Every emotional reaction we have in life is attached to one of the “rocks” we are unconsciously carrying around.
For example the rock called “we are supposed to take everything that happens to us “personally”. Or the rock that believes that if we are authentic in life, no one will like us or love us. Another common rock is the primitive ego belief that every belief we hold about life is actually, really true! This rock is a close cousin of the “take things personally rock”. If someone disagrees with us, then they are attacking us personally because our primitive ego ”knows” what is right and true!
Before I began to awaken, one of my favorite rocks was called my “expectation” rock. If I “expected” something to happen, even though I made up the expectation in my own mind, I would get upset when it didn’t happen the way I was “expecting” it to happen. I unconsciously assumed that my emotional “up-set-ness” would somehow make the world change—-which of course only added to my “up-set-ness”. I kept this “expectation” rock close to my “assumption” rock since I often tended to use them together.
As I became more self-aware I discovered that the more “rocks” I was able to remove from my bag, the lighter I felt. The happier I felt, and the more spiritually grounded I felt. Over time I discovered dealing with reality was far easier than managing all the rocks I had carried around for so many years.
As you head into the holiday season, you might have opportunities to “pay attention” to your bag rocks. Just watch for rocks called “emotional knee-jerk reactions”. Pay attention to them. You might explore what it would mean to try letting go of them. Remind yourself that carrying your inner-child’s bag of rocks around can be exhausting.
Don’t worry if the “rocks” seem to keep coming back. Just pay attention to them each time they reappear. Over time you’ll find that they will begin to disappear because it will no longer make sense to continue carrying them around.