Don’t even get me started on the airline industry and their ticket pricing, cramped seating, extra fees and penalties. It takes strategic planning to get all your necessities into a carry-on bag to avoid domestic baggage fees. Looking back, my husband and I took great pride in the fact that we were each able to manage a backpack and a carry-on bag for a two-week trip to Brazil a decade ago. Yes, we had the option of four free checked bags between us, but our connection flight was out of Atlanta and experience taught us our luggage might fall victim to the baggage abyss at the Atlanta airport. Through much trial and error, I managed to rid myself of items I wanted with me more than I needed with me. Granted it took me sitting on my carry-on to secure and lock the it.
I came away with one of my greatest life lessons on that Brazil trip. The lesson was ridding myself of any excess baggage that was unnecessary, cumbersome and costly. Humans tend to carry around a trail of baggage originating as far back as childhood. Some of their adult decisions made today may be heavily influenced by their childhood or teenage emotional baggage. The key here is to address any excess baggage that no longer serves your wellbeing. There is no room for fresh, new experiences awaiting you, if your time and attention is directed on your past. Though the child, teenager and young adult still live on in you through memories, they are not equipped to advise or influence decisions you are faced with today. If you can imagine opening emotional baggage from your childhood and teenage years, you would find it filled mostly with fear and uncertainty that, in reality, is no longer relevant.
The question becomes, how do you begin ridding yourself of unwanted, negative and painful baggage. Begin observing your reactions and responses that occur during your daily life. When someone easily pushes your emotional buttons or can flip your mood like a light switch, ask yourself, what’s going on internally to incur such a response. Follow the emotional trail back as far as your memory will serve you. If you’re open and honest with yourself, your inner child will step forward with the answers you’re seeking. Healing begins when you’re open to acknowledging and releasing any emotional baggage that has mentally and physically cost you dearly throughout your life’s journey.
Remember to pack lightly for the rest of your journey. There’s no need for any further checked baggage. Instead of headaches and painful memories, you’ll open yourself up for more joy and contentment.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, May 18, 2017