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The Layer Man

Posted Sep 21 2010 12:00am

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me and I find that although I have much to share I am not in a position to write or visit your blogs at this time. I am sure I will be writing again in a couple of days. Hope you are all well and you enjoy this re-post from last year.

Last weekend my clothes dryer quit working and I had to go to the local laundromat to dry a few loads of clothes. While my clothes were drying a tall middle aged man with a long graying ponytail and an equally long gray beard came in to do his wash. He carried a small canvas bag which had his laundry detergent and some light clothes in it. He then said aloud to anyone that was listening to not be alarmed as he took off his clothes. I took a closer look and realized that we was wearing multiple shirts, and as he began to take of his pants, it was clear that he had multiple pairs of pants and sweat pants on. As he peeled off each layer of clothing he casually explained that it was easier for him to wear his dirty clothes in layers than it was to carry them.

Strange as this seemed to me at the moment, I knew that this man was a teacher, there was a lesson here.

As odd as his wearing his dirty clothes in layers rather than carrying them in a bag was, there was some wisdom in what he was doing. In life we often talk about the baggage that we carry with us. We use baggage as a metaphor for things that have happened in our past such as failed ventures, failed or toxic relationships, things that happened to us in childhood, etc.

Consider what happens when you carry a heavy bag in one hand, the bag places stress on your arm, your shoulder and your neck. Your body feels out of balance. We will usually switch the bag from hand to hand to relive the strain. In life we carry our “baggage”, our baggage also may manifest itself in what we call stress, which shows up in the form of stiff necks, headaches and other physical pain and we often feel off balance as we shift our “baggage” to attempt to relive the stress that it causes.

Metaphorically we often say we need to simply let go of our baggage, put it down and move on. While letting go of things in our life is important, there is always an element of our baggage which remains with us, an element which we may carry, lighter yes, however still baggage which we carry.

Our odd teacher had something right. Who we are today is because of everything that we have experienced and how we choose in the “now” to use our experiences. We in fact are comprised of many layers. It is easier to wear our layers rather then carry them. When we wear our layers the weight of our layers our evenly distributed, resulting in balance and much less stress. We can choose to peel off layers, cleanse them and put them back on. We can choose to recognize the value of our layers and all that they have to offer in our growth.

Today, I suggest that you rid yourself of your baggage and instead wear layers. You will feel more balanced and less stressed as you embrace all that is you and choose today how you will use all of your experiences to grow.

Love yourself and all that is you! Wear your layers with love!

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