Monday, 2 June 2014

Baggage Claim

We all have baggage (I’m referring to the emotional kind not the stylish leather kind, which I'm actually quite partial to). Everyone’s bags come in different shapes and sizes, but we each carry our own version of them just the same and often find that the weight of them drags us down. We can spend a lot of effort trying to get rid of our baggage. We make an attempt to leave them on the conveyor belt, but those pesky bags keep circling back around. You also have to be careful that you don't inadvertently pick up somebody else’s bags in the process and wind up carrying the weight for two people.
Whether we like or not our baggage is part of us. Our bags don’t magically disappear simply because we’ve ignored them. In fact, I often find that’s when they seem to fill up with even more junk. What we have to do is to identify our bags and claim them. It’s only when we have a bag in our hands that we can start to unpack it and see it for what it is - a worn-out bag containing things that may not mean anything anymore.

Unpacking our bags is an ongoing process that’s often painful, confronting and uncomfortable, especially when you come face to face with the items you’ve chosen to keep in your bag. You see that’s the thing. I believe we do have a choice as to what we keep in the bag, the meaning we attach to it and how long we let it weigh on our shoulders. This is because it is a conscious decision to muster up the courage to take responsibility for the bag, and have the compassion forgive oneself and others for packing it in the first place.

As for me, I have my share (both the emotional and leather kind). There are some bags that I’ve managed to unpack and put on the shelf, some that I am in the process of unpacking and some that are still circling that conveyor belt. At the moment I find that I can only unpack one bag at the time. But I am determined to get through them. I don't want any musty old bag tainting what I do in my life and how I live it. While they may be part of me, they don’t have to define me and that is well and truly my choice.

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, 
but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
Maya Angelou

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