Things happen to us in this life that are not in our control. Beyond just the day to day annoyances, struggles, and inconveniences, real tragedies occur. Relationships we once thought would last forever end. The people we love pass away. Our bodies betray us through illness and diseases. We lose our jobs, our homes. We file for bankruptcy as we drown in student loan debt and bad credit scores.
Crazy stuff that we thought would never happen to us or could ever happen to us, happen! Life takes us down its own path that we never set out for.
So yes, like it or not, we all carry around some baggage.
If we aren’t careful, we may find that we drag this baggage with us. New relationships, new jobs, new conversations. We come in with baggage. We don’t even realize it is weighing us down. We come into what should be new, clean slate situations, and we bring in our past. The things that left a mark on us come right along with us!
Why do we do this?!?
Take my friend Marissa. A beautiful, energetic, successful woman in her 20s, from the outside looking in, Marissa has it all! She is smart. She is funny. She has a good steady job and some really fantastic friends. But she struggles in the dating area of her life. She just can’t seem to get past the two year mark in her long term relationships.
When asking her more about WHY and WHAT HAPPENS, she breaks it down and it all becomes very clear.
ME: Hey Marissa, sorry about the breakup. What happened?
MARISSA: Oh you know, the usual. My knight in shining armor turned out to be a loser in aluminum foil. ME: Well, its okay. I mean, like I always say, “men are a luxury, not a necessity.” But what really happened?
MARISSA: Well, he started acting distant. I wasn’t sure what was going on. He started getting really busy at work and I know he was stressed out. He had a lot going on.
ME: Okay, well what changed? Did you start doing something different?
MARISSA: I don’t know. I mean I was always there for him. Like ALWAYS. If he needed anything at all, I dropped what I was doing. I helped him in any way I could. I tried to be really understanding and cool with what was going on.
ME: Well what about YOU. Before you met him, I know that you were really into yoga, working out, and doing your charity events.
MARISSA: Yeah, I kinda put a little pause on all of that.
ME: What? Why? What do you mean?
MARISSA: Well, there were only a few times a week he could spend time with me. Like I said, he was really busy. He’s very important at his job and has a lot of demands.
ME: hmm…sounds like he’s just not that into you. And sounds like you are bringing in your past baggage.
ME: Remember that book and movie? Busy is another way of saying he is just not that into you. Busy is the relationship deal breaker. The word “busy” is just a bunch of BS. Men are never too busy to get what they want. Isn’t this the same thing that happened with the last dude you were dating?
MARISSA: Yeah. Same thing. We were great, things were great, perfect even. Then about two years in, I started hinting at wanting to get engaged and he disappeared on me.
ME: It sounds like you are repeating past behaviors. You might be bringing in your old baggage. Your backpack is filled with your story that you need to be there for them all the time. So. Here’s what you can do. Start your hobbies back up again! Do you. Go out with your friends, pick up new hobbies, try online dating. Do whatever it takes to get a life, a real life, of your very own.
MARISSA: Yeah, but then that means that I won’t be able to see them that often.
ME: EXACTLY!!! Stop dropping everything to be with them! If they like you, they will keep trying. Unload the backpack! Let go of the old baggage and story that you have to ALWAYS be there. They won’t get scared away by this if they really like you. Don’t you worry about that!
MARISSA: Ugh, I don’t know.
ME: Look. Your baggage is that you are a people pleaser. You don’t want to disappoint anyone. You are afraid that if you aren’t always there for them, they won’t want to be with you at all. You have to unload the backpack. That story you are telling yourself isn’t true. If they want you, they will find you. And remember, don’t waste the pretty!
The key is to unload the backpack that is dragging us down.
We enter in new situations with our past behaviors, our past stories, our past viewpoints. This could be the reason why we aren’t seeing different results in our lives.
We have to learn to unload our backpacks.
Here’s what we can do. We can walk into the next conversation, the next meeting, the next party with no expectations. No idea of how it is going to go. We can approach everyone we meet with curiosity. We can see them as someone we want to learn more about.
When we unload our backpacks and let go of our past baggage, we can breathe again. We can look at old things with new eyes. We can feel the weight of the backpack lift off our shoulders.
So tell me, in the comments below, what baggage do you need to let go of? What do you need to unload from your backpack today?