What do you carry?

Yesterday, as every day, I cleaned the litterboxes in the basement. I use the cat equivalent of a diaper pail. The unit holds a bag into which one scoops the solid matter from the litterbox. A top lid closes firmly, containing the smell and mess.

When I had finished, I noticed the bag was full. So, I removed it, replaced it with a fresh one, and proceeded to walk up the basement stairs intending to deposit the bag in the outside garbage bin.

Halfway up the stairs, the bottom of the bag broke out. Used litter and feces scattered down the stairs in a fetid trail. I admit I swore loudly and with feeling.

I dashed upstairs to gather a sturdier bag and retraced my steps to begin cleaning up the substantial mess. I was less than enthused.

The smell in the enclosed stairway was horrendous. Impact had broken up all the clumps of pee, plastering them to the stairs and releasing a choking ammonia aroma. The poops were also quite odiferous.

The cleanup of the scattered matter took quite a while. I had time to ponder as I scooped everything up from the stairs into the sturdier bag. My thoughts deepened as I then scrubbed the stairs thoroughly.

The symbolism came to me and I laughed aloud, inhaling yet a stronger dose of noxious fumes. I was trying to reach a higher level while toting a bag of excrement.

How often do we try to pursue a new level while toting along a symbolic bag of all our old, smelly issues? Whether we’re aspiring to a career promotion, a step along the spiritual path, or a deepening of a romantic or relationship connection, we will always find it harder if we haul along old baggage.

Today’s message and yesterday’s incident remind me that it’s better to travel lighter. When my hands and heart are free an open, it’s easier for me to embrace the goodness in life.

Please reflect and share. What baggage might you benefit from releasing?