Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Thoughts on having Baggage.....

 "You have a lot of baggage."

I hear that a lot. Usually accompanied with a scrunched-up facial expression that implies disgust, as if having baggage is a character flaw or personal failure...something I should be rejected and punished for.

But you know what? Baggage isn't a character flaw or a personal failure. It's a scar. It's an accumulation of painful lessons learned the hard way that make a person extra cautious when making new choices.

Baggage happens when a person trusts too much and was badly burned, even punished...for being a trusting person. And you get even more baggage when the next person comes along and says "You shouldn't distrust me just because of what THEY did, I'm not them...." which makes you feel guilty so you open your heart and trust them........and then they burn you too.

Baggage is what you get when you love the wrong people, very deeply, and try too hard to work it out.

Baggage is what happens when you try to stay strong.....for too long......instead of just jumping ship at the first sign of trouble....or the second....or the forty-fifth....or the hundred and sixteenth.....because you believe that is what Love does........

Baggage is the result of having people you should be able to trust; like parents, siblings, spouses, and friends....repeatedly yank the rug out from under your feet and then tell you it's your own fault because you're too trusting.

But there's a positive aspect of baggage too. A blessing that comes from baggage that it seems people often fail to realize. 

Having baggage means you have gained valuable insights that you will never forget. A depth of understanding about people and life that many fail to even realize exists.

Baggage means having the ability to be compassionate toward others because you understand how a person can do all the wrong things with the very best of intentions and that making mistakes is simply that; you made a mistake. It doesn't mean you're a total failure as a human being. Knowing that makes it very easy to forgive others when they make a mistake, too.

Baggage means you will never, ever, take anyone for granted. It means when you find a real friend, you appreciate them. It means when you find a partner who's heart is big enough to love you anyway, because they can see your big heart and will do what it takes to dismantle the walls; you will do everything in your power to show them how much you value them....every single day for the rest of your life.

Baggage means you remember your mistakes and will make every effort to not make that mistake again.

Baggage has the ability to drive a person to trust God as they have never trusted before, and that trust in God becomes the center of their life.....because God is the one being they know for certain they can trust without ever needing to wonder about it....

Baggage means you have accepted responsibility for the choices you made and are taking steps to make better choices; which means pissing people off sometimes because you're not going to just leap without looking and make it easy for yet another person to sucker-punch you.

......Or, if you're like me and a very primitive, instinctual part of your brain was damaged when you were two years old and no one noticed when you were a child, and no one listened to you as an adult when you questioned what you were experiencing, so you spent 38  years of your life living in a world that was nothing like what everyone told you it should be like, which was very confusing.....while being jerked around by every con-artist who came along because of it......not to mention the abusers you grew up with that you didn't have any choice about.........You learn to question everything 5 or 6 times, check your notes, and then look again just to be sure....before you make ANY decision....

Is that baggage or is that just taking responsibility for my own life and doing what I need to do, what I MUST do, if I'm ever going to create a better life for myself?

It's a glitch in the wiring, not a personal failure. Failure would have been to learn about the glitch and then use it as an excuse to keep making the same mistakes.....instead of doing what I have done; which is to spend every moment of every day since the moment I found out 10 years ago, taking steps to heal myself to the best of my ability and with very little support from others, because they just want to focus on the baggage.....