Everyone in life has baggage. Some bigger and fuller than others, but it’s an unavoidable element of life. The way I see it, we all walk around with these invisible back-packs that we wear. Inside of them are a mélange of our strengths, fears, experiences, likes, dislikes…..one could say that these are the backpacks that sometimes weigh us down heavily and other times allow us to dig deep and find the strength to get through difficult situations. They are the places we can store our special memories and useful tricks that can help to guide us when we are feeling the need for some extra help.
People always talk about “baggage.” By this, I am not referring to actual luggage that one may buy at the store. I am actually referring to the metaphorical luggage that human beings walk around with. It used to always bother me when I would hear people describe their friends or loved ones as having “lots of baggage.” Perhaps that is because up until my divorce, I never thought of myself as someone who had a great deal of baggage. Aside from my invisible knapsack that I wore (and still wear) on my back, I never felt as though I had many issues that interfered with my relationships with others. Sure, since I am human I had little things that bugged me, but in general I was trusting (maybe sometimes too trusting), uncomplicated, and non-dramatic.
After my divorce many things changed, and I suddenly found myself feeling as though I had an entire set of very heavy luggage that surrounded me.
It amazed me how from one day to the next my set of personal and emotional baggage multiplied! I quickly began to understand the concept of emotional baggage and its impact on a person and on relationships.
Suddenly I found myself exploring many things that I had never thought of having to explore before.
And sadly I began questioning my personal judgment when it came to my relationships, and doubting my choices regarding the people who I allowed myself to be close with.
Boy was I a hot mess – I hid it well because it was a personal battle that I had to fight through, and those who know me best can attest to the fact that I usually choose to fight through my challenges privately and quietly. I often felt as though I was lugging around a two ton suitcase of unwanted material – and trust me, I was afraid to “unpack it” and to sort through it. This was all part of my journey through divorce.
Fast forward to today, several years later…….I can happily say that I no longer feel as though my new set of luggage is overwhelming or too heavy to carry.
I am no longer bothered by the fact that I have acquired some new emotional baggage as a result of my divorce and the experiences that I went through.
Having emotional baggage as a result of personal life experiences is normal and okay. I have learned that it’s important to acknowledge the feelings, fears, and insecurities that I now carry – and I feel strongly that not everyone out there needs to be privy to every single thing that I have gone through. I guess you could say that I have learned to carry my new set of luggage as comfortably and gracefully as I possibly can.
My hope for all women who find themselves having acquired a new set of luggage (which may feel too large to manage or too frightening to open) is to BREATHE, open it slowly, sort through the new feelings and fears that you may have, and Allow it all to become a part of your personal bank of experiences. The feelings of empowerment and strength that come with exploring and even conquering the new baggage are amazing! And remember, that if anyone ever tells you that you have “too much baggage” move along and find someone who will not judge you as a result of what you have been through.
“Everyone that you meet comes with Baggage. Find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack.” -unknown