CARRYING UNNECESSARY BAGGAGE
We all carry different loads throughout life. Sometimes it can be experiences from our childhood that we keep on our backs like an overweight backpack. Other times it can be baggage handed to us from others. Carrying around these burdens becomes our normal. A normal that should’ve never been. Sometimes we carry baggage that’s warranted. Experiences teach us different life lessons that alter how we behave when certain situations are handed to us. Even though that’s the case, it’s not uncommon for us to take on extra baggage, baggage that’s not our own.
While being here in Nicaragua I was faced with a problem. Taking on someone else’s issue that had nothing to do with me. I got a phone call that started with “we have a problem.” Ummmm……wait? WE? I could’ve sworn I was thousands of miles away. What in the world do you want me to do? Now of course there are things that a person can be helped with from a different country but this was not one of those things. This was a problem that was entirely their own. Something that I definitely couldn’t be of assistance with here. Although all of that is true, it definitely wasn’t my initial thought. My immediate reaction was to come up with a solution. An escape route for them. But then I thought “wait…..why?”
Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to the people you love you WANT to help them. You WANT to help them figure out a solution. You WANT whatever issue or problem they’re faced with to be alleviated as quickly as possible. That’s just human nature. Lots of us make ourselves uncomfortable in order to make our family members and friends lives a little bit easier. Shout-out to all you moms out there who do this on an hourly basis. But I do think there are exceptions. Picking up another persons baggage and problems ALL THE TIME leads to one being run over. People only do what you allow and if you allow them to constantly take advantage of you….they’ll continue to do it and feel no remorse.
There are so many areas of life that this stretches into. It’s kinda amazing actually. The other day I asked my roommate if I’m a nuisance to her. She said no but wondered why exactly I felt/thought that way. She’s very much the type of person who will tell you how she’s feeling without reservation. If I was annoying her in any way I’m sure it would’ve been made known to me. Thinking back to certain things I had gone through in different friendships as a child/teenager, I realized I was carrying baggage. Baggage that I should’ve thrown away years ago. Baggage that the other party didn’t even know existed. Brings to mind why communication is SO important in any relationship. One person could be hurting or holding on to something and the other person involved doesn’t even know it. It’s so much easier to just let stuff go and it you can’t let it go then talk it out. We hang on to things for far too long. Our quality of life, both mentally and physically, can and will increase so much if we just get rid of that stuff. It’s hard though. Believe me I know. You want that person to know that they were wrong or that they hurt you. Even an acknowledgment of that helps. Sometimes though that acknowledgment never happens. Even still we all can learn to just let go of whatever it is we’re holding on to. It’s not worth it to keep that buried inside. With a little bit of work and determination it’s totally possible shed it’s weight.
I’m learning to let things go and not take on the unnecessary baggage of others. I’m not there yet but I’ll continue trying. There are two quotes that I read this week that I will forever remember. “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got” and “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” These are words that I’m going to try to live by. I hope the same for you guys too!