The airport is a common setting in my dreams. Most often as I navigate one hallway after another looking for the right gate for my destination. It’s a pretty telling theme — feeling like I can’t find the right path to get me where I need to go.
But a recent slumber offered a different kind of airport scenario. This time, I knew the right gate and I made my way there fairly simply. Down a escalator, past the pretzel stand, right into an open waiting room.
Until the moment we are called to board, and I realize I have somehow managed to track in with me a huge assortment of items. Rubbermaid tubs. Suitcases. Carry-on bag. A full-sized ironing board.
Yes. That’s right. A full-sized ironing board. (At least what I remember an ironing board to look like. I haven’t actually used one in years.)
Suddenly it’s clear that I have to find a way to get all of this stuff into the allowed 2 bags. So I start stuffing. And stacking. And calculating if might sneak the ironing-board through if I strap it to a tub. That would only count as 1 item, right.
I have no idea how I got all of this in with me past security. But I panic, thinking only of how I just HAVE to make everything fit. The boarding has started, and I will NOT be left behind. But neither am I leaving my stuff.
“You’re trying to carry too much.”
I don’t know where the voice comes from, but I know it’s right.
Upon waking, I carry the message with me for days.
Stepping toward freedom with an overstuffed suitcase isn’t really the journey I want to take. All these things I think I need — especially the ones I never even use — why is it still so hard to let them go?
I have compared my addiction recovery to climbing a mountain. Of having to learn to navigate narrow roads along steep paths. Which is a lousy place to be hauling storage tubs and an ironing board.
Hikers sometimes use stone markers to indicate a path for those who come behind them — a cairn. And those who follow often add a rock of their own to the stack.
As I climb my mountain, I must learn to lighten my load. To add an offering of surrender at each altar. To lay it down on my way up. So that when I exit from the other side, there is nothing left to hold me back. That — that will be my freedom.
In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.
PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences of everyday bravery. It’s a road better traveled with friends.