Where Growth Happens

The Baggage that We Carry

“The past is never where you think you left it.”
Katherine Anne Porter

Imagine for a moment that right now, in your present moment that you’ve been holding on to every memory created in the past and every action done to you  in the past. If our past truly molds us into who we are now, then what moments in our past have molded us the most? If you  held on to every moment and memory what type of person do you think you would be currently? Do you think you would be functioning as a fully understanding human being when it comes to not only the relationships in your life  but as well the relationship that you have with yourself or do you think it would be the exact opposite of this? Would you be miserable and unable to have healthy relationships?

You’ve probably said to yourself  that any person who holds on to all the past memories created and all the past actions done to them would be a miserable person because they are allowing everything in the past to affect their present moment. This is likely true and I’ve personally never met a person who holds on to the past that is truly happy in their present moment and if this person does exist I’d love to pick their brain.

It’s almost impossible for us to remember everything that has ever been done to us throughout our life and it’s even more unlikely for us to be able to remember all of the past memories that were created, so thankfully we as a human race don’t have to worry about being this person or becoming this person. The more likely case is that we remember  only the events that had significant impacts on us and we have etched those memories in our memory banks. The more typical events and memories that we remember are the things that either made us very happy or very sad, the events that fixed us or the events that almost broke us. And sometimes we unconsciously never forget them. It is only until someone else points it out to us that we realize that we have.

We then carry these past memories into the future now and use them as a measuring stick as to the type of things we either want or don’t want in our lives. In truth, most of us have been packing all of these things into our carry own bag, going from destination to destination, thinking we are carrying light but in reality, carrying the even heavier items in our lives; carrying the things that hold us down, wear us down and prevent us from being at peace.

In other words, all the luggage we consider essential has been packed in to a suitcase and instead of unloading certain items that need to be discarded, we continue to pile things in even when its clear it’s bursting at the seams. Guess what? Life is standing at the counter, looking at us in our eyes, staring deeply in to our core,  telling us that “it’s too heavy and it needs to be put back” and we just say “wait let me reorganize it” and try to place certain items in our other memory bags. This is what we do, all of us, no one is exempt from this action. It’s the only way that we feel that we can prepare ourselves for things to come. We believe it’s better to think we are prepared for something instead of being caught by surprise.

The questions I ask you are this. Are we holding on to the right things that benefit us the most? Are we  preparing ourselves for the future now with past memories and past actions that will help propel us forward in a positive healthy way? Or are we holding on to things that are depriving us from our joy? Things that deprive us from having healthy and satisfying relationships.

Truth is, I’m not really sure that we can ever really prepare ourselves for the unknown. In fact I’m more sure than not that we can’t prepare for the unknown until whatever is bound to happen happens and then we learn and adjust from that moment on.  Sure, we can put theories through the test gauntlet and we can run algorithms to help determine the likely outcome of some events in the future now but neither of those options work when it comes to human interaction with one another because human’s are unpredictable. We can think one way and do things one way one day and then the next day we have decided that we have had enough of that and change.

So, we can’t really prepare for future encounters with people based on what we know from our past memories and past actions that were done to us and yet many people try but we all are different so expecting others to do to us what others before them is unfair to them and yourself. I sit back and observed people in their actions and in their logic as to what they believe and how they allow what they believe to determine how they interact with other people and I see how they are allowing things from their past to affect how they interact with people.  If we can be honest with one another then we can all admit that we all have some  past baggage  that we carry with us. In all honesty though, too many of us are still wearing yesterday’s clothes expecting a new look.

At what point are you going to unload the hurt that your mom and dad caused to be let go? At what point are you going to let go of the anger you have with yourself about your decision  to get involved with a married a man or woman who at the end, went back to their spouse? At what point in your life are you going to let go of the memory that tells you that the next person is going to hurt you? At what moment in time are you going to let go of all the anger, hurt, anxiety that was caused by any of the actions that you have allowed to remain etched in memories stone? Many of us are broken, still pretending that we’re working but it’s clear to everyone who interacts with us that things aren’t running as smoothly as we like people to believe.

In my personal life I know people who constantly talk about themselves. They talk about what they do, what they have, what they’ve done, what they’ve come through and are unwilling to hear what you have to say not because they don’t care but because it’s not about them. When I have conversations with them, all they can talk about is themselves and all their grandeur and yet never wonder why they have only associates or no one of significance in their life. I sit back and wonder if they have low self-esteem and little self-worth or even over compensating for something. All because they use the word I more than any other word in their vocabulary. When it comes to healthy relationships, no one likes to be around anyone who only talks about themselves. I ask myself, what past event has caused this person to only see in the perspective of I when in the company of others. Have you ever met a person who likes to be around anyone who only talks about themselves? Yeah me neither.

I can promise you that they are carrying a piece of luggage that should have been let go a long time ago. I can promise you that you are carrying a piece of past luggage that should have been let go. And until you do, that dream of yours that includes finding peace, love and balance will be forever fleeting. It’s hard for us to have fully healthy relationships when we ourselves aren’t as healthy as we know we need to be. However, the only way we will ever reach our full potential is by examining the area’s of our lives that we know need improvements. Trust issues, abandonment issues, fiscal irresponsibility issues for example exist in our lives because of past actions done to us that we have yet acknowledged, which in turn keeps us from being able to remove it from our lives. Friends, if we can’t see our struggles, our problems as something that is broken,then how can we ever fix it? Don’t be blind to the facts because even if we ourselves can’t see them, I can promise you that others can and do.

Once we can acknowledge the issue(s) we can then figure out why it exist, which is always (in most cases) because of another human being, we can then start the forgiving process. Without that acknowledgement and a willingness to change it, there is nothing we can do but continue to live in the reliving. But once we do acknowledge and do want to change we can then start the process of forgiving them and forgiving ourselves for allowing it and some cases not being able to change what was going on in that moment.

Your time to change is right now. As you read these words you know you want to be better and that it’s time to let go of past pieces of memories and actions that are blocking your progression. The goal in life should always be to get better, not to regress but to PROGRESS.  And yes, it’s an uneasy feeling saying I have an issue and yes it’s uncomfortable saying I’ve been carrying this baggage and luggage for far too long, but guess what? You deserve a even happier life and even healthier relationships.

Starting today, pull your suitcase out of the closet and examine the luggage you currently have stuffed in there(this includes your beliefs). Some of it needs to stay and some of it needs to go but most importantly all of it needs to be examined because contrary to popular belief somethings don’t make us stronger, it makes us weaker and if you ever think you are getting away with the extra baggage, let us remember that in life, we are not Southwest Airlines…..our bags never fly free so do what Ms Badu said to do,  #packlight #baglady

Everyone we meet in life comes with a little baggage, add people in your life who don’t mind helping you unpack

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Categorised in: Authentic, Growth Moments, Reflection

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