Back in mid-2000s, I took on an entertainment PR client, asking where all their “issues” were in order to prep them to emotionally handle the onslaught of media.
Their response to me was, “If you don’t have any baggage, it means you’re not going anywhere.”
I appreciated their clever duffle bag slogan/truth of their perception. But I wanted to challenge them with thinking about what was possible for them to own instead.
Then I countered with…
“Well, wouldn’t be nice to travel through life a bit lighter? You could go ahead and be ‘responsible, mature and evolved’ to actually CLAIM your baggage at baggage claim, but the longer you hang onto it over the years as something that you don’t need, doesn’t it mean you’re travels are more encumbered each year more than they need to be?”
My client looked at me and said, “Damn it, Stacey… why does that have to make so much sense? You’re right, I’d rather just go through the airport with my guitar.”
I smile at each time someone “gets” that baggage isn’t necessary to carry for years and years.
Most humans get so used to carrying it, it becomes part of who they are and it isn’t until one gets “stuck” – does it surface as the problem for moving forward.
Everyone has their own baggage, some more than others and while most of it is never processed to be recognized fully, the idea of just how burdensome it can be the longer it is carried is REAL.
This “Damn it, Stacey” ‘ah ha’ truth serum lovingly sprinkled with frustration lets me know somehow I made someone THINK about it long enough to recognize it exists and that carrying it is not necessary.
THE GOOD STUFF:
Your life baggage does contribute toward shaping who we are if you choose for it to make you a better, stronger person. But there is caution here... don't let this be your only 'legacy'... you must do something with it.
Owning it is necessary because it is part of our authentic TRUTH.
Baggage is only residue from an experience. If you survived and lived through an experience, it is all that is left if you have moved through it…. and you can use it to motivate yourself.
THE BAD STUFF:
When baggage remains a constant barrier holding you back from living in a positive light, this is when it becomes unhealthy.
Baggage can imprison you in a place of victimhood or martyrdom, preventing you from fully stepping into who you truly.
Baggage is an obstacle to dealing with life problem solving, and total emotional healing.
Carrying your emotional baggage carries a resonance in your life, sending out a vibration you don’t need in attracting energy that does not serve you.
How can we turn this around?
Ownership and understanding how we are LINKING TO BAGGAGE CLAIM is necessary to improve our quality of life.
First, you have to admit you have it…. flaws and all and say, “This is me, I am human.”
Everyone has something… and if you have survived anything, you know how powerful it can be to do just that.
In the words of Donny Osmond, “A man can’t be measured by the number of times he is knocked down, it’s all about what he does when he gets back up again… I’m a survivor.”
Denial only causes a more delays in your flight zone and you won’t be able to connect flights to get where you’re going if you don’t show and disclose what is flying with you.
Once you own it, understanding it is the next step.
Your life should feel like its own journey, a trip …. Filled with adventure, unexpected surprises, and discovery.
So if we look at baggage in the context of say…”stress” – as you know “stress” does not make vacations fun, right? So why would you want to deliberately bring it with you on your journey?
Somehow simplifying the idea of how we examine mental and emotional baggage, we can see fundamentally, we don’t want to take it with us on our trip, our journey. However, in the process of living everyday life, “baggage” seems more daunting, so much bigger and it is why many people don’t wish to confront it.
Confrontation can be scary when the idea of tackling something that appears to be a hefty challenge. While it is not easy, like anything in life, it is such a victorious feeling when you conquer it head on and come out the other side of your challenge with flying colors.
When you unpack your luggage item by item, piece by piece and finally empty your bag, you begin to see what is possible. Life becomes more liberating and your pathway is free to fly and fill your bag only with good things, positivity, and like-minded optimistic energy.
Your passport is yours to use and choose what kind of adventures you wish to take on in your lifetime. Turbulence need not stay as the main focal point of your journey.
Trust that you WILL get to your destination, but your enjoyment of living your best life can ascend in elevation of your experience if you travel light… and carry on to where you want to go next.