Or is it your ‘Baggage’?
You have swollen ankles….?
Or is it your ‘Baggage’?
We all have what is called in our modern–day world ‘Baggage’.
It is the thing we refer to when we see someone who has a unexpected reaction or prejudice towards something seemingly benign.
If someone has a bad experience with a partner that they carry with them into their next relationship we call it their Baggage.
If a guy expresses a “.. and don’t bring your baggage with you…” policy on their dating site profile, we immediately know they themselves have a shedful of their own Baggage!
When you find yourself talking to someone who says “All men are the same” or “All women are just after a free ride” then you know they themselves have their own Baggage.
But we all have it don’t we?
That Baggage we carry around. It manifests in us as, that water retention which gives us swollen ankles because we overindulge in tv watching instead of going to the gym, the extra glass of wine we have in the evening we regret in the morning, the stash of chocolate in the pantry we have convinced ourselves we need to eat to feel better. Most of us stuff down our feelings with something or other and then those feelings show up in other areas of our bodies and our lives.
It’s our ‘story’. The truth we tell ourselves about the experiences we have had and the affect those experiences have left on us.
Our story shapes us. It makes us who we are now. It is the person we have become.
Sure, we can choose to change who we have become, but in order to become that person at the point we want to jump off from, we first had to have those experiences. Good or bad.
I’m divorced. Twice. As Family is one of my strongest Values, this has had a strong and painful effect on how I see myself. It’s some of my baggage. (Don’t get me started on growing up in a family of 9 children!)
So now I’m Single and Over 40. However, if I take this painful part of my story into my next relationship with a partner then I am probably doing that person a disservice. My story still needs to discussed, aired, allowed to breathe now and again. My partner needs to be allowed to have the same airing and discussion of their experiences. We all have our memories, and we are all the sum of our experiences up to that point. We both have to acknowledge that they exist but then put them back in place in our personal Mind-Room, and left to rest there.
Our next task is to create new and wonderful experiences together! To grow and develop as a joint partnership as well as creating more personal experiences as individuals. Co-dependency is not required for a partnership to succeed.
The healthy thing I can do is ask my partner to accept me for who I am after the Baggage has been placed in the Mind-Room. Not be the person who is carrying the baggage around like a Token of Merit. “I survived, therefore I am worthy, but you’d better not mess with me!”
Be the person who says, “Yes, I had those experiences. They coloured my world for a while. Made me sad and angry. Made me feel ‘Less than’. Knocked me off balance for some time. But, here I am now prepared to live fully in my life. Prepared to put my heart on my sleeve again and take the chance on finding a life full of love and happiness. Because what else is there if there are no days of absolute joy and contentment in amongst the daily necessities of work, food, sleep and play?
The next time you talk to someone and they start on a mini rant about something, acknowledge (to yourself ) that this is just something they are carrying around which is shaping the m into the person they are today.
It doesn’t define them.
Cut them some slack and change the subject.
Give a small thought to your own stack of bags in the Mind-Room and enjoy this person for who they are right now.
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