Have you ever embarked and planned for a camping trip where you set up camp for a couple of days. Remember how you would load up your backpack with what you thought you needed? Gradually, it became clear that you had too much stuff. How could you possibly carry all that stuff on the mile long trails? It was obvious that now you had to figure out what to leave behind. That is the trick: what do I leave behind?
Almost a year ago, my wife and I moved to a new home. We were downsizing. Again, the metaphor of the backpack comes into play. What to give away. What to throw away. It was now that we realized that we no longer needed what we had accumulated over the years. As Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time to plant and a time to root out.
The American naturalist Sigurd Olson shares that “years of walking through wild country has taught him a great deal about traveling light. Backpackers learn, sometimes the hard way, that simplicity is always a question of knowing what to leave behind.”
I relish listening to the old tape of George Carlin who gives his spiel about our “stuff.” We all have more “stuff” that we know what to do with. We all carry our “stuff” where ever we go. Too late are we aware of what our backpack is carrying. I am referring to the “stuff” of our sad moods which if not dealt with, will by the sheer weight of it all, overwhelm us. Our backpacks could be filled with rage, fear, anger, suicidal thoughts and everything else that weighs us down. Not only our body but our mind is immobilized.
Most of the time now, my backpack has only the essential items for my life journey. I have opened up my backpack, looked inside and removed all the situations and feelings that I no longer felt were positive and life giving. Today, I know perfectly well what is in my backpack. Along with all the solutions that I carry with me day after day, I have my guide book, giving me a Step by Step plan for living my life with serenity and grateful heart.
I no longer let a negative and unpleasant mood spiral down so that my backpack becomes heavier and the depression mood darkens a path ahead. Today after years on the road, I now can tell when I need to get on the unpacking thing, take out what I don’t want or need, and move on. We can leave behind that which weighs us down
If you want to know what might be in your backpack, and want to take out that stuff you no longer need or want on this life journey, please join us, get your guide book, and walk with us. In time and with a lighter load, you can join us (Depressed Anonymous).
Together we will get where we need to be and with what we need to continue to travel on this broad and wide road, not alone but with each other.
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
Visit The Depressed Anonymous Publications Bookstore where you will find your plan for the way out of the wilderness.