(a metaphor about reducing emotional baggage)

Imagine you are going on a gentle hike with someone you love. You lace up your hiking boots and put on a light jacket. You’re feeling good! It’s a beautiful day, the sun is warm, but not too hot. There are a few puffy white clouds in the sky. There is a gentle breeze, and you can smell the fresh air and the scent of pine trees. Nearby you can see the blue of a beautiful lake and hear the sound of the ruffle of small waves. It’s going to be a great day, and you’re really looking forward to spending time with your good friend.

As you walk along, you’re enjoying a lively conversation. It’s so good to give yourself this gift of time to enjoy. However, you notice there seems to be a small lump in your right boot. It’s probably just a lump in the sock, so you try angling your foot slightly away from that side of your boot. After a few more steps, you realize that isn’t going to work. You don’t want to interrupt the flow of the conversation, but you stop for just a second to pull up your sock, in hopes it will smooth out the lump. It doesn’t. In fact, it’s starting to really bother you, and seems to be creating a sore spot; it almost feels like a bruise.

Could it possibly be a pebble left in your boot from your last hike? By now you’ve walked a mile and it’s causing a slight limp. It’s distracting you from enjoying the view, and even from being able to focus on the conversation. You realize this lump is not going away. It really hurts!

Finally, you tell your friend, “Sorry, but I think I may have a pebble in my shoe, and I’ll need to stop and take off my boot.” You find a large rock to sit on and take off your boot. You shake it, and a pebble the size of a small almond falls out. You’re amazed that such a small lump could create so much pain and discomfort.

You put your sock and boot back on and begin to walk again. Even though there is still a tiny sore spot where the bruise was, you feel a great deal of relief. As you continue to walk, it eases up even more. Now you can again enjoy this beautiful day and your time with your good friend!

Most of us carry baggage (a pebble) with us when we start a relationship. Initially, during the excitement of the new friendship, we don’t notice how our old “stuff” is impacting the new connection. But gradually, our old habits and attitudes will surface and cause us pain. The negative feelings will insert themselves into our view of the world and distract us from creating a relaxed and positive bond with our new friend.

Sometimes we try numerous different ways to relieve the discomfort. We may even imagine that a different “hike” or a different friend is the solution.  But ultimately, there is really only one effective solution: remove the baggage we bring with us! After we remove our old patterns, we are free to build happier relationships.

Want to know how to remove your pebbles? On February 15th, we’re hosting our first live webinar! It’s all about how to remove the “pebbles” in your shoe. We are excited to share this transformational technique for unloading old baggage!

It’s a Valentine’s Special, for just $12, half the price of our local Meetups!

Here’s the link to register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kStuxNhFRVuyoJ-4aChX3w Recordings will be available for those who register but are unable to attend.

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