Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. – don Miguel Ruiz
This is true whether life has taken from you your life savings, relationships (toxic or not), possessions, emotions, or people.
In our capitalist society, we grow up with the illusion that whoever amasses the most things – wins! In addition to material things, we hold emotions and experiences, and keep them forever (even when it is not good for us!) Sometimes I think we are like the TV show “Hoarders” with the amount of intellectual and emotional baggage we drag behind us. (If you do not think you are “packing” baggage, think about how often you serenade friends with the same litany of a past hurt…)
The analogy of baggage fees for emotional baggage hit me the other day at the airport as a fashionista was unloading her luggage on to a baggage cart for an upcoming flight. She was aghast when the agent assessed her with hundreds of dollars in “extra” baggage fees, and I realized that this same situation could work well with the invisible baggage we all insist on bringing with us.
Imagine if we could visualize the baggage that we and everyone else bring along when we go out? Picture this hilarious scenario: People at a picnic surrounded by masses of steamer trunks (full of crap), garment bags (with clothes that no longer fit) , sports equipment (long worn out), golf bags (with mismatched clubs), garbage bags (filled with discarded papers), and suitcases so old they need duct tape to stay together.
It would be the most bizarre scene from “Hoarders” (people who discard nothing!)
Baggage fees for people?
If we were forced to pay fees (which we do unconsciously) for each unnecessary piece of baggage we brought the world economy would restart in a minute! The world would change for the better in two ways:
- People would carefully pack only the luggage they need to take on a journey and discard the rest (we would all be more emotionally healthy!);
- Those who wish to remain emotional “hoarders” would contribute financially for the privilege!
The emotional baggage we carry is invisible, yet we drag, push, and pull way too much of it along like some sort of badge of honor. If it were real, some of it would smell bad, be oozing out of its containers, and some of it would be so dangerous as to alert the “HAZMAT” team (hazardous materials).
We do not realize that life could be so much easier (with great fitness benefits to our emotional health) by discarding, recycling, reframing, and forgiving the things we lost in the past and that life took from us. Things we thought we need to keep might actually be costing us unconsciously by holding on to them. Clear out your storage locker and your mind of this clutter and make room for new emotions and wonderful experiences today. (Related post: New Math – Subtraction can add Years to your life!)
Starting today, I am going to work to discard the waste, and watch what bags I pack to go out tonight.
If it is more than I can fit into a small purse – it is tooooooo much! If I go out and drag along a few extra steamer trunks (out of habit), I will ask my friends to collect baggage fees at the table. What do you think?
Have a great (baggage free) week!