Baggage Claim

emotional-baggageWe all have baggage, don’t we? But it’s not like luggage that we tag and hope gets to the same destination that we do. Our baggage is something we can’t help but carry along with us, whether we want to or not, and it stays with us. What we choose to do about that baggage is up to us, though, if we let it drag us down, or if we learn from it and become better about not accumulating more baggage.

I know I personally have a lot of baggage myself, and most of it has a lot to do with how I see myself today. When I was younger I tended to blame pretty much everyone else in my life for my opinions of myself. They told me I was a certain way and I internalized that, thinking it was true and creating my own baggage in the process. I was a nerd. I was too short. I was awkward around others. I was, in most respects, a basket case. Because I chose to believe others.

There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother that treated this idea in a wonderful way, by showing people with actual labeled baggage that they were physically carrying with them. How great would that be? When we first met someone we could see that they have 10 bags they’re struggling to carry, and we can walk the other way. Right? Of course if that were the case, I probably wouldn’t be married now.

baggageYou see, when we first start out in a relationship it’s the human way to dole out those pieces of baggage bit by bit, over a course of time. It’s called “getting to know each other.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it. In this way the other person is able to digest what we’ve told them one at a time instead of getting bombarded with it all at the same time. That’s the only reason they don’t run screaming away from us when we first meet, and why we advance to a second, third, and umpteenth date.

But think about it. One of the biggest issues we have in relationships is that we don’t ever divulge all of the baggage. Continue reading “Baggage Claim”