Monday, September 2, 2013

What's [in] Your Bag?

My visit with S. went well. It was so rewarding to watch her unpack each item. She wanted to wear the stars and stripes on this national holiday, and it fit! Of course, she told everyone  we met that I had made it for her. Here is the bag I put the gifts into:

My mother, a fabulous fabric artist and a wonderful human being, supplied the special-order quotation applique. She makes her own fabric by taking photos of interesting colors, textures and shapes, Xeroxing them onto transfer paper, then affixing them to fabric using a hotpress. As a favor a while back, she transferred some quotes I selected onto fabric. My idea was to sell bags like this one, but I'm not sure people want to "announce their bag" this way.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

We did have one moment in which she was putting up her habitual resistance to parental authority, on the verge of throwing a full-blown oppositional fit. I walked outside, stood stock still, and looked out into the distance.

"If only we could figure out what causes these reactions in you," I said. (Such behavior led to the failure of her last two foster placements, not to mention ours.) Before I knew it she was whimpering on my shoulder. No doubt about her baggage.

But the quote applies to us all. If we could find this space Frankl describes, couldn't we all empty our bags of the childhood survival skills that no longer fit our lives? And wouldn't that lead to even more space for mindfulness, power, freedom and growth?


  1. Sometimes it takes therapy to find that space and it takes therapy to travel within it. But most of all, it talks therapy to let go of it all.

  2. I'm going to walk outside and look into the distance next time I need to.