Which Backpack Are You Carrying?

bagLet’s imagine that everywhere you went, you carried a heavy backpack. You weren’t sure why – it’s not even like you needed it. But it’s something that you’ve done for as long as you can remember. It’s just something that was normal to you. You couldn’t even really remember what was in it.

So, one day, you set it down and opened it up. And you began to pull everything out of it. It had been so long that it was as though you were seeing the contents for the first time.

And what you realized, in that moment, was that you didn’t need any of these things anymore. They were no longer useful to you. Maybe, when you first began carrying them around they were. But now, you simply didn’t have any use for them. You were just keeping them near you out of habit.

So you round up everything that was inside the backpack and take it to a donation center. You are excited about your now-empty backpack, and you decide to only put into it things that feed your soul. You feel so much lighter and much more free! You don’t miss the contents at all; you’re just happy to be starting over.

Life is like this, too. We are all carrying around our figurative backpacks that are filled with beliefs and emotions that we no longer need – that are no longer useful in our lives. But we do it without even thinking about it. We do it because it’s become such a habit – and a comfort – in our lives.

If we opened our backpack, we might find that we couldn’t even recognize ourselves in the contents – that we felt so far removed from it. Many of our bags carry the same contents. Here are some of the heavy, outdated beliefs we may find:

  • Life is a struggle.
  • You shouldn’t want too much because you’ll just end up being disappointed.
  • Who do you think you are to dream such big dreams?
  • You should be suspicious when things come to you too easily.
  • It won’t matter as much if you didn’t have to work hard to get it.
  • You don’t really deserve to be happy.
  • Relationships are hard work.
  • You’re not ________ enough.
  • You need to be perfect.
  • Success is bad.
  • It’s selfish to take care of yourself.

Do any of these sound familiar? Where did these beliefs come from? And how long have you been carrying them with you? What are some other beliefs and emotions that you’ve been carrying around that are no longer serving you?

Would you be willing to empty everything from your figurative backpack and only fill it with beliefs and emotions that make you happy and that feed your soul? Would you be willing to give yourself permission to say goodbye to these beliefs for good – knowing that you just don’t need them? Would you?

Because you know what?

You are so deserving of a backpack filled with love and hope and dreams and life. Your love and your hopes and your dreams and your life.

So often, we’re carrying someone else’s baggage around, and we don’t even realize it. But you can give yourself permission to create a new life and carry around new beliefs. You can do that right now. 

It starts right here in this moment.

So what’s it going to be – a bag filled with heavy old stuff that was never yours to begin with, or a big filled with love, positivity, and possibility? You get to decide. 

And I sure would love for you to choose the second bag. You are so worthy of it. We all are.

I would love for you to spread the love by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!



Which Backpack Are You Carrying? — 28 Comments

  1. Oops, I think my backpack has that entire list of beliefs. Time to get a new, empty backpack to fill with new thoughts :) Anyway, I happily filled out the survey. Love the idea of creating a community to help people reach their dreams.

  2. This certainly arrived on the correct day of my life…serendipity! My backpack is full of all of those items…..it’s well past time to lighten up!

  3. I love this metaphor for limiting beliefs! Your point about how it’s often other people’s baggage we’re carrying around is so important too. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between our stuff and other people’s, but sifting through and being able to tell the difference is life-changing.

    • Hi Hannah!
      Thanks so much! I completely agree that a great first step is to sift through our baggage and really get clear on whose it is – oftentimes we’ll find that we’ve been carrying around someone else’s for a long time without even knowing it. :)
      Here is your angel card: Grace
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Which Backpack Are You Carrying?My Profile

  4. Jodi, my hat is off to you for presenting this matter so clearly. After a breakdown and the help of a super couciler who presented my conflicts in much the same manner, I was able to see that these beliefs were ones that I was taught but didn’t resonate with me at all, For 40+ years. 6 years later I am still identifing what is not part of my core value system and tossing as I do so. I want to encourgage everyone do to so, we all deserve to walk our own walk and talk openly about it as well. I am here to help anyway I can.

  5. :-) I loved this, Jodi – This was among my Mother’s favorite metaphors. She would keep saying, just lay down your backpack and straighten up, chin up, smile and forge forth. I even fondly remember this as a child when she actually used my schoolbag to demonstrate. I enjoyed a healthy dose of nostalgia right now…. and am so happy to see you presenting such a lovely message.

    God bless. You’re a beautiful soul, Jodi.
    Vidya Sury recently posted..I am Enough – An AffirmationMy Profile

  6. I filled out the survey and would love an angel card. I am always excited when people want to make the world a better place which can sometimes feel very hard to do……love and hugs to u !

  7. Excellent post as a reminder that half of the baggage we carry around is not our own but picked up along the way. Puts it all into perspective when we remember that.. I just need to keep reminding myself of that when negative emotion rears its ugly head!! Thank you!

  8. I love this! After the week I have just had I am ditching a particularly old sandwich I found at the bottom of my backpack….
    Thanks for sharing, I love the comparison.

  9. Unfortunately I’m familiar with a few of these on the list. It’s time to get a new list! Thanks Jodi, this was a great post.

    If you would pull a card for me, I’d love it. Your survey was quick, easy, and thorough. Best of luck for the new endeavour!


  10. That is so true and I love that way of looking at it. We all have these beliefs that unless we have specifically gone looking for them we don’t tend to really notice them as they are just accepted. Because we learnt them so early in life it can seem like they are just a part of you.

    But like the backpack, they can be emptied out and replaced with something much better!

    Ben recently posted..Make a daily practice of prioritizing your goalsMy Profile

    • Hi Ben!
      It’s so true that oftentimes we aren’t even aware, first of all, that these are beliefs and second of all, that these beliefs can be changed. That awareness is definitely the first step to allowing positive change to come into our life. I wasn’t sure if you filled out the survey – just in case, here is your angel card: Healing. Hugs to you!
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..Which Backpack Are You Carrying?My Profile

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