Tripping Out: We All Have Baggage.

Via Carolyn Riker
on Jul 27, 2013
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My kids are on a trip for three nights and four days. Yippee!

I have been looking forward to this trip with a slight bit of guilt but still thinking this will be good for everyone. I will have much needed quiet time, relaxation, and be able get to my endless to-do list and enjoy.

What I didn’t except is, of course, what happens.

My plans for the long weekend were stellar, yet as I prepped for their departure, all sorts of emotions surfaced.

Fear, guilty, worry, anxiety, panic, sadness, abandonment.

I rallied against these feelings with fervor. I became snarky, jumpy and a downright bitch. I was fighting my internal self of: emotionally pretending to be tough—but actually I’m a creampuff disguised as a porcupine.

I also have an incredible ability to set my expectations slightly on the overachiever’s spectrum of improbable.

Day one:

Paint the house (interior and exterior). Hang glide. Rearrange furniture. Install a new kitchen faucet.

Day two:

Donate used clothing. Write a novel. Organize paperwork. Read three books. Clean the roof. Rewire electrical outlets. Study astrology.

Day three:

Weed the garden. Take a dozen yoga classes. Trim hedges. Power wash the driveway and patio. Take flying lessons.

By the time I schlepped them off for their weekend away, I was in tears. Plenty of tears.

It’s not safe to be driving in a river. Sunglasses don’t help. I was paddling with one oar. At each turn a new wave of emotions came crashing in. And then another wave of thoughts:

What if something terrible happens to them? What if something happens to me? This is ridiculous! Why am I reacting this way? What is wrong with me? It’s only a long weekend. Most people would rejoice at this reprieve. You were one of them just a day ago!

How can I go from happy to zany in minutes? The horrific, bittersweet calamities in Life of Pi flashed through my heart and the rope became my snake.

“As we navigate our paths, each of us picks up bits of wisdom and insight along the way. With these tools in hand, we address not only the challenges we face, but their existence allows us to begin to form our personal mythologies. Those of us who pray believe that our chosen definition of the Divine will hear us. Those of us who strike out on our own believe that we have the necessary tools within ourselves to overcome our challenges. Through our lessons and the understanding of our own answers we each develop a unique system of belief. Some of us hold onto those beliefs for a lifetime; others out grow them from time to time and shed them like a snake shed’s its skin.” ~ Jeffrey Pierce

That first evening alone, I had to put the brakes on my unraveling and regroup. I pulled out my mat. It is a practice, (I lamented) and when I don’t practice, how do I expect to stay grounded? How will I benefit from the lessons swimming before my eyes? (Hand to forehead, doh!)

As a beginner, I only know simple. I focused on breathing and reconnected to my body. I had to get back into the zone of now. I had to find my inner guru of intuition and trust. She was there waiting for me.

Later, I revisited my to-do-list and brought it into reality land:

Let’s start with one yoga class, skip cleaning the roof, deadhead two rosebushes, sort a small stack of papers and meditate. If I do more, awesome. Equally important, it’s okay to cry through the silence touching my heart.

It’s been a full day and half of insights and the emotional rush exhausting. Perhaps I was working on some past life samsaras. I don’t know. I do know I have tapped into these feelings before and this time I stayed with them, worked through it and I am stronger. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing for this moment in time: letting feelings arise and sitting with them patiently and kindly.

It’ll all be good and I can now smile as I see things are unfolding as they are supposed to.

Day one (reality): 

Migraine at 9 a.m. It is now 5 p.m. and I remain in my jammies. The remnants of my migraine have eased. I have emptied the dishwasher. Did one load of laundry. My cat has moved from the chair to the sofa. He purrs constantly. Ice-pack remains strapped to my head. I need a shower but the effort is way too much. I still miss my kids but I’m peaceful.

 “If we learn to understand the fabric of our own lives as seen through the lens of our spiritual paths, we come to realize that there is a lesson to be learned in each moment. We learn that falling and picking ourselves up to try again is where strength, perseverance, and wisdom are forged. We discover that our challenges make us stronger, that they allow us to let go of concepts and filters that hold us back. And with the combination of both strength and freedom, we find ourselves stepping deeper and deeper into the heart of our paths.” ~ Jeffrey Pierce

Meanwhile, the kids have checked in and are happily reporting all of their adventures. Instead of me doing a million and one things—they are.


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Ed: B. Bemel


About Carolyn Riker

Carolyn is an educator, counselor, writer and a poet who finds comfort and balance in nature and music. Introspective, forthright, kind and compassionate, she intertwines life with being real. She also writes for Journey of the Heart and Rebelle Society. Carolyn can be reached at Facebook.


5 Responses to “Tripping Out: We All Have Baggage.”

  1. fred09red says:

    No worries, days like these are like a short breath of fresh air. A mother always gets to do what she was entirely behind with, like house repairs, cleaning up around the house, moving the bedroom furniture and so on and so forth. Plus, this kind of work is always therapeutic for a women, as she gets to consume all her bad energies and purify the house, like going for a fresh new start.

  2. fred09red says:

    Getting the house upside down in just one day or two means a lot of work. But no one can stand in the way of a mother`s willingness when it comes to repairing or transforming the entire house. And with the commercial grade soy cleaning products that have been released on the market these days, some very good work aids, by the way, everything suddenly gets easier.

  3. fred09red says:

    A good alternative to all this would have been for the mother to take some time off as well and recharge her batteries on a short getaway on to a spa or some other relaxing place. Everything could have been left with representatives, to get all the small repairs done while no one is home. There are some good and reliable providers out there and ready to help when called.

  4. fred09red says:

    Getting rid of useless stuff from the closet is actually a very good thing to do. People may not realized how many things they have stored in their closets until there comes a day for massive clean-up. Of course, there is always the old leather bag that means so much to its owner or the costume jewelry that one simply cannot give away, as it looked so good when wearing it at the best friend`s engagement party.

  5. fred09red says:

    A good advice for this type of personal time would be to turn it into a spa retreat moment. For all the mothers out there, a little would definitely not hurt anyone. Of course, there is plenty of time to deal with decorations and repairs the whole year around.