Check or Carry-On?

The last day of 2014 is a good time to visit the idea of emotional baggage. In the spirit of a fresh start tomorrow, I plan to kiss mine good-bye, leaving it behind the unclaimed desk…forever. If the lost luggage people don’t find me that is. (If they do, I shall ignore the phone.)

Just what is baggage? For our purposes, baggage is memory of events past detrimental to events current and future. In the relationship/dating world, baggage is a kind of catch-call term for people stuck on sour past loves. I like this shorthand approach. You can find lots of online stuff about the clinical details, such as they are, but for you and me, baggage is about what holds us back.

And that’s the key. Baggage prevents progress. There is no such thing as good baggage. Good baggage we call memory, or experience; these are positive qualities. Nobody is weighed down and stuck on good past life actions.

My difference with the “oh dear, he comes with baggage” attitude is that it’s all a matter of how you view things. Life isn’t all about sweetness. Sucky stuff happens. Lots of sucky stuff happens in relationships because, what….?

People suck. We visit horrid stuff on each other. A lot.

Not all the time, of course. I have done awful things. You have too. By keeping a calm perspective of our imperfection and that of those around us, we can all take a view that good and bad events create the person we are. Not-so-nice episodes (once we’ve established the lessons they teach us) are one decision away from being nothing but “teachable moments”. In other words, we decide not to carry those bags around.

If you fancy joining me, here’s my plan: When you feel that you are (or told you are) road-blocked by a past misadventure, choose to look upon it as a life-lesson that has no effect on the outcome of what’s happening now. Remove the energy it has over you. Don’t grant it the power to change anything about your life except as a pathway to a better one.

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