Drop the baggage and pack light!

spirit Oct 06, 2013

“Bag lady you gone hurt your back

Dragging all them bags like that

I guess nobody ever told you

All you must hold onto

Is you…..”

Erykah Badu


This is a very beautiful and insightful song by the very talented Erykah Badu that touches on something that I think many women can relate to. The emotional baggage that we carry with us throughout our lives and our relationships. The song talks about how all of this baggage can affect us, how it can keep us from moving forward because we are unable to let it go and therefore keep re-visiting the past. We judge the people in our lives based on our past experiences with others without allowing them to prove themselves. Badu advises us to “pack light” as all of that baggage will keep us back from opportunities and will get in our way.

I for one am guilty of having baggage. I’ve been hurt in relationships and held on to the pain as if it were a comfy blanket wrapped around me in the winter time and on the days when I don’t need it I pack it away in my ‘bag’ with the knowledge that I can pull it out at a moment’s notice. When I’m feeling unsure of myself, I do just that, I pull it out to use as a weapon against being hurt again. I just wrap myself up in that blanket of painful memories and shield myself from whatever real or imagined hurt that comes before me. Then I use that blanket to smother any love or kindness shown to me because of my fears and insecurities. But is there really any comfort in making someone else feel bad for something they haven’t done? Is it fair to judge someone by the crimes that someone else committed? 

There’s something else I’ve noticed about carrying all of that emotional baggage… not only does it hold you back but it blocks your vision. You see everything through veiled eyes. Your vision isn’t clear because you’re so busying looking backwards at the bags you’re carrying, you can’t see what’s in front of you. Opportunities for healthy relationships go unnoticed or are rejected because you are unable to trust that you deserve them or that someone else could like you, love you or just want to be nice to you.

How can we heal; how can we be healthy and how can we find the love that we need if we are too busy holding on to the past? Pain is such a heavy burden to bear and can sometimes take so long to disappear, why do we try to hold on to it longer than is necessary? What purpose does it serve to store all of the dark experiences of the past in our hearts and minds where they continue to do so much harm? 

We need to let go of the baggage and the hurt in whatever healthy way we can. We might need help from those close to us or from professionals. Writing down our feelings or finding new hobbies can also help us to focus on more positive things. But whatever we decide, it should be something that allows us to move forward with our lives and into healthy relationships.

‘So pack light’…

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