Mid-year cleaning. I find myself sitting amidst a room with books and surprisingly, bags. Laptop cases, old school bags, reusable jute bags, colorful cloth pieces. I hold an old backpack and open it to find notes that date back to a few years ago. I chuckle as I notice a zip towards the far end, a pouch almost enclosed against the black inside, hidden from my view. I opened it, to find a large space that could hold quite a few books. Odd design, I wondered.

I attempt to recall having used that secret pouch to store away notes that were seemingly important. I wonder if I sometimes forget about the hidden pouch, it was out of sight for the most part. The bag however, weighed heavier on me. A weight I could not understand then.

I present a thought that intrigued me then. The pouch I discovered, the books at the end of your bookshelf, the clothes that are sandwiched between the more regularly worn, the food on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. And, our emotions.

Sometimes, we find a place for our emotions and thoughts, telling ourselves perhaps we could address this at a later time. Is this okay? Yes, of course it is. You are allowed to create a safe space for yourself. It could mean giving yourself some time before working through how you feel, it is allowed. I look at my bag and I wonder, how I may have carried the weight in that hidden pouch for longer than I was willing to, when the weight did not seem to support me.

When I find the space to, I ask myself:

‘What am I holding on to? Do I feel supported by this? Can I allow myself to check in with how holding on makes me feel?’

Perhaps the content of your hidden pouch serves you, you are allowed to choose. It is possible that discovering cooked food in the corner of your refrigerator, a shirt you forgot about, the books you were about to call a friend for, all of this could bring joy too.

I hold gentle hope for us as we allow ourselves to discover what might surface in a hidden corner of our backpacks.