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June 27, 2021

Other People’s Baggage is not Mine to Carry: a Visualization on Letting Go.

I use my radiation treatment sessions as a practice in visualization.

I go into the machine and while lying there waiting for the radiation treatment to start, I picture myself in a safe place.

I always visualize myself sitting at my favorite campsite, on a rock, looking out at a calm lake; it is where my soul feels most at home.

From this place of calm, I begin to explore the stuck emotions that have been trapped in my body for years, breeding the perfect grounds for the cancerous tumors to grow.

Around my fourth treatment session, my body felt really tight and heavy. I was focusing on the spot in my throat, just above my chest where one of my more painful tumors is pressing on my windpipe and esophagus.

I asked my body which emotions were there: pent-up feelings, years of not expressing my true self, the inability to speak up for myself, other people’s hateful and hurtful words that cut deep that had nothing to do with me.

I was carrying it all in my throat, so tangible it felt like a large golf ball stuck at the base of my neck, just above where my throat meets my chest. This had been exactly where one of the more troublesome tumors was slowly wrapping its way around my esophagus, slowly choking me.

I asked myself why I was carrying it. What purpose did it serve me?

And I realized something; it wasn’t mine to carry.

I had taken on so much of other people’s baggage, packed it away, and stored it for keeps—making it mine.

But those hurtful words and names they called me? The people who betrayed me? They were just acting out their own issues, most of which had nothing to do with me.

Other peoples’ insecurities, self-esteem issues, and negative patterns: I had been carrying it all around, letting it silence me, letting it make me think I was not good enough and it had nothing to do with me.

Lying in the radiation machine, I imagined myself lining up suitcases with names labeled on them for each person whose crap I had taken on as my own over the years.

Then I started imagining all the hurtful things that people had said to me; all the times they made me feel unworthy and not good enough.

I imagined these words and actions as if they were pieces of clothing, stuffing them into the appropriately labeled suitcase, and then locking their latches.

When the radiation treatment machine starts, it makes a clicking noise all around your body. I imagined that noise as piercing light beams shooting into the suitcases and creating holes in the cases like bullet holes, pow pow pow pow.

On the seventh click of the machine, I pictured the suitcase exploding into vapor, becoming nothing but water to be drained out through my body and finally released. I had been drinking a ton of water to help my body release the physical and spiritual effects of the treatments and visualizations.

It was such a powerful experience each time one of those little bastards exploded. All the pain, hurtful words, and stuff I had taken on that didn’t belong to me disappeared. All the years of doubting myself, feeling broken, not good enough, and like a burden had left.

Upon leaving treatment, I felt so light, like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest.

 

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