The Invisible Luggage

man in bus
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People move a lot, generally. Move from a house to another, from a city to another, from one country to another. But why do they do that? What is it that makes them choose “the moving” move?

In my experience people move because they believe that in another place, they will feel better. They will have a better job, better friends, better living standards, better experiences, and so on.

For many though, moving, does not necessarily mean a life changed to the better. Because, I have noticed, when we move, we are not only taking with us luggage which is visible in the form of suitcases or parcels sent by post. We are also taking with us an invisible luggage which lies within us, in form of culture, values and experiences we’ve gathered during our lives until the moving point.

Some experiences are good to have, and others is best if we manage to leave them behind. Sometimes we need to just put them aside until the time to take them out is right again. Others, we need to heal, and say Good-by to them for good, if we don’t want them to stand in our way. How do we manage to do that? Leaving behind experiences, habits, way of being is hard and it hurts. It is like you would be asked to leave behind a foot or a hand. All those invisible parts of us, are just as painful to let go as it is to have to cut a lim.

I notices that it is more understandable when a visible wound is created, that time and patients is needed for healing. People go to doctors and take painkillers, in order take away the symptom. When it comes to feelings, ideas, culture, experiences, behavior, which are “invisible”, less understanding is in store, even from ourselves. Sometimes, even if some people around us give the right support, we are not able to receive that support because we are the toughest judges upon ourselves. We are so stuck and full of the invisible patterns, that we do not manage to take inn new ones. Just like a cup. In order to be able to fill it, it must be emptied first. If we are “full” from before, how are we to take inn new knowledge and experiences? And all this things we are “full” of, are invisible. And because they are invisible, we do not go to see a therapist who can help us empty the cup.

From what I saw around me, all this invisible stuff can be just as painful as a physical wound. But instead of letting that pain out, and live it, even if it hurts, people prefer to hide it deep into their hearts, and cover it with creative ways of distraction: wine, food, cigarettes, laughter, smiles, drugs, shopping, traveling, and  other things which make us feel good. The illusion of feeling good, and coping with the situation makes us believe that everything is fine, and we never speak of them.

If they are spoken of, they are more in the form of accusation of the other. It is the other which is so, and such and so damn different from me that I can barely bear the sight of it/he/she. It is easier to point the finger at the other than to press it on our own invisible wound.

This invisible luggage has a tendency to create the new reality in the new country, and some how shapes the new environment. Some may feel that the only thing they changed is just the geographical position on the globe, and the language they speak and the system of rules in the working world. But otherwise, the experiences they run from are the same. The histories repeat themselves even thousands of miles away from the country of origin, in another language, and with other characters.

To avoid that, some groups stick together. Usually there are people who did not learned or speak badly the language of the new country. It is easier that way. To gather and be together, creating an environment like the one in the country of origin makes the adjustment or life in the new country easier. Here, where it is safe, the old values can be kept and lived after. Even if not entirely disregarding the ones of the land they live inn but judging and comparing themselves after the values from the country of origin.

For some it is a good thing, because it keeps them alive and sane. Having a platform where you can be validated according to what you know, is a creative way of surviving in “hostile” environment where even if you speak the language so that you can function, it is still difficult to understand the underling values.

Have you ever thought about your invisible luggage which you carried with you from your own country of origin to the adoptive one? Is it easy to find it within yourself?  I know it wasn’t easy to find mine.

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