We all have baggage. We all have baggage that we carry wth us through life, from one relationship to the next. As we navigate our way, looking for love, we hope to find someone who doesn’t have a lot of baggage and hope that our own baggage isn’t too much for them to bear.
My baggage used to be a hand purse. It was minimal, but it was still baggage. That first little bag was packed with nothing more than dreams and expectations. Dreams of a happily ever after with Prince Charming. My expectations based on the same fairytales that fueled my dreams. It also contained expectations based on what I observed through my parents actions and interactions.
I fell in love and had my heart broken. My little hand purse became an overnight bag with the memory of that first broken heart added. My baggage was still small, but now it was more noticeable. More love and broken hearts, negative words spoken to me, my pant size increasing a couple sizes. They all got added to that overnight bag.
During my teenage years the worst experience happened and my overnight bag became a suitcase. I stuffed everything I could in there trying to pack it all away and forget about it. I added a few drinks. Some shame. Surprisingly, the shame took up a lot of space. Shame that wasn’t mine to carry, yet I packed it up and dragged it along anyway.
I kept adding things to that suitcase until it was so big and heavy it hurt to keep carrying it around. I began to wonder if it was worth what it saved me. Did it actually save me anything?
We go through life having experiences that shape us. We have fun. We fall in love. We get our hearts broken. We relish the good experiences, survive the bad ones. It’s a cycle really, and although they don’t always run in the same order they always continue to happen. As we go through these cycles, these wins and losses, so does everyone else.
We all end up with a suitcase full that we keep carrying with us even when it just keeps dragging us down. We might put it away in the back of a closet, but it’s still there. We might look at it occasionally, think about emptying it, throwing it away. If only it were that easy we could simply toss it in the bin and be done with it.
Truth is we hold on to it because we are afraid to start over, to make ourselves vulnerable again. We are afraid to give people the opportunity to hurt us, to make us feel that pain or shame we felt so many times before. That suitcase is our barrier, our wall that keeps all the pain and vulnerability on the other side.
That suitcase isn’t a barrier that keeps the pain and vulnerability out. It is the barrier that stops us from allowing more love and happiness in. It’s what keeps us from taking chances. That damn suitcase!
It’s time we unpack it and throw away the things that no longer serve us or our best interest. We need to remember that feeling of finding our first love without keeping the heartbreak that followed it. We can throw that shit away. We need to feel that confidence and self worth we once had before it was torn down and stripped from us. We can throw away the shame and insecurity. We can throw away the mean words that were spat at us in anger, by others and by ourselves. Then we can throw away that damn suitcase!