As a kid, I had a rock collection. Everywhere I went, I would collect rocks. At recess, in the backyard, in the parking lot, out of my poor fish's tank...anytime I saw a rock that caught my eye, I would pick it up and place it in my pocket to bring home and put inside a small wooden box I kept under my bed. The box was a perfect wooden square, with a top that slid off and had my name printed perfectly in red letters. I remember having so many rocks that I filled that entire box to the brim; I couldn't close it.
I would stuff so many rocks in my pockets that I looked disfigured, with rocky bulges protruding out of my hips. I remember I would bog myself down with pocketfuls of rocks. But I didn't care, because they were my treasures and I wanted to keep them and love them and keep them under my bed where they would be mine.
Isn't that how I live life? Picking up heavy rocks and stuffing them into my already full pockets? I see a rock I fancy, a rock that I think will complete my collection, that will fill my box, that will make me feel like I have it all. I see the promises of physical beauty, financial gain, the accolades of others, success in career, material belongings, attention from others, the promises of health- and I pick it up and bring it home to treasure it-- but only after I've lugged it around in my pockets all day. I bring it home and place it under my bed, but I still feel the need for more rocks.
I run around my whole life, picking up these rocks, and bringing them home, like stray cats or something. But they stay under my bed, where they serve me no purpose except the constant reminder that my collection is not complete. They fill my wooden box to the brim and yet, I can't let go of them. I let them sit there, taking up space, pretending they make me feel complete, like I need them.
But in reality, all I get are a pocketful of rocks, weighing me down, when I should be playing outside.
I'm learning to empty my pockets. To put the rocks back in nature, where they belong, where their proper place is, and go home empty pocketed but all the lighter for it.