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  • Writer's picturePhoenix: Reimagined

Carrying "Baggage" into the Future as a Self-Sabotaging Technique...

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

Do you still have #letters from your "ex" (that you only dated for 14 weeks in 1996) that you keep just so you can some day defend yourself in case there's ever a dispute of who was at fault in the relationship (or why it ended)? Do you still have dried out paints from 1988 in your "#hope chest?" Have you been #moving boxes of content that you haven't even looked at in nearly 14 years from place to place (multiple times) just because you "never know when you're going to need it?"

No? Consider yourself #lucky...because I do (did).

If the answer is 'yes' - this post is for you. Grab a beverage (you might have needed to pack a lunch for this) and get ready for some #truth.

The Real Deal - 117 love letters from one of my exes...

Note: I plan on going into the "why" of this journey and what started it all but that's a story for another time. For the moment, let's go into the reasons why we carry #baggage and how it can lead to #self-sabotage.

What is baggage?

According to Merriam-Webster baggage is defined as:

1. suitcases, trunks, and personal belongings of travelers

2: transportable equipment especially of a military force

3: intangible things (such as feelings, circumstances, or beliefs) that get in the way

For our purposes, we're going to negate option 2 up there, focus on option 3 and how it pertains to option 1.

Why do we carry baggage?

So why do we carry baggage? Here's why...because somewhere along the way that coke can that we shared with an ex-boyfriend in 9th grade (#truestory) meant something to us. The kangaroo skin soccer cleats that are rotting away (#truestory) signify our youth and a time in our lives when we had the world by the tail! The bottom line?

We carry baggage to remind us of who we used to be.

We were a beauty queen. We were an athlete. Before marriage, career, kids, minivans, and receding hairlines got in the way....we were SOMEONE ELSE AND IN OUR MINDS THAT PERSON WAS MORE INTERESTING THAN THE ONE WE HAVE BECOME TODAY. Usually, that person was a dreamer. They had big plans and we accuse the person staring at us in the mirror every morning of letting them die.

Take a deep breath. That was a tough one to swallow.

We look back at our #glory days and think, "Where did the time go? Why did I make that choice?"

How baggage leads to self-sabotage

When we carry the past into the future, it becomes an anchor. I'm not talking about your child's first pair of shoes that will eventually be passed down to them. I'm talking about the "things" that we have allowed to shape our current reality and how we've trapped ourselves into believing that "this is just the way I am."

We allow these memories to become a security blanket insulating us into believing we cannot change.

Because, let's be real here. It isn't the physical thing we're holding on to, it's the memory or the feeling that the physical thing represents. We keep the box of photographs of old girlfriends to remember that "we had it going on" back in the day. We review and revisit the choices we've made and we use this baggage as a way to chastise ourselves over and over again for making, what we believe, was the wrong choice.

Here's the thing though...none of us have a magic wand or a time machine. We cannot change the past but we can, starting now, make a new choice. We don't have to live just by the cards we were dealt. We can rise above. We can make a change. We can cast off the lines and create a new future.

Are you ready? What kind of baggage have you been carrying around that you're now realizing has weighed you down? Are you ready to let it go?

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