Lunar Letter / Baggage

Let me ask you a question:

How much baggage are you taking with you on the adventure of life?

Some seem to take with them just about everything that can possibly be had in the world, while others travel lighter, only with the clothes on their back. Between these two extremes, go the majority of us. In addition to material things we take along the way, we also tend to take a lot of emotional baggage, which can be the heaviest of all.

The weight of these emotional suitcases depends on the moment. When they are full of applause and praise, it’s as if they were weightless, at times appearing to turn into wings and whisking us away to faraway places. With less weight in our emotional baggage, we tread lighter, walk with our head higher, have better posture and are more confidence in ourselves.

When negativity abounds, not being taken into account or a dirty look, can weigh down our emotional baggage in an instant. It’s then when we can create a vicious circle going around in our mind over and over again, pondering each of our decisions and elections. We ask why we did such and such, or the reason why someone reacted in a particular manner. Sometimes the weight can be so heavy, it impedes our progress.

It’s important to know the baggage we take with us, depends on us. We can decide which bags to keep and which to pitch. Some of the emotions we take with us, like love and happiness, deserve to be taken, even though they too have their weight. Though we really may not want it, others like anger, hate, and disenchantment will slip into our luggage from time to time. The idea is to preserve the positive and get rid of the negative as soon as possible.

Is it that easy to simply throw away the weight we don’t want?

It would be wonderful if it were so easy. The truth is that it isn’t easy to leave things behind, even when they harm us. Nevertheless, with practice, we can begin to get rid of what most weighs us down. I have an exercise you might like to take the emotions we feel to the test:

  • Think for a moment of a circumstance that is negatively weighing you down right now, it could be hate, anger, jealousy, selfishness, guiltiness or any other coming as a result of something specific in your life
  • Imagine the entire situation as if it were a movie and as you do, see yourself in the image with bag full of all the emotion you feel on your back
  • From the audience, as a spectator, watch everything
  • Looking from the outside in, from a different perspective, you can find answers to make your journey more pleasant

When we take a situation apart and examine it closely from the outside in, we find it often isn’t necessary or logical to carry heavy emotional baggage. To begin to lighten our load, we can get rid of anything that doesn’t make us happiness.

Life is dynamic and its natural to feel emotions. Far from ignoring them, or pretending they don’t exist, let’s begin to analyze each one, deciding whether or not we will allow its weight in our luggage. In time we learn traveling lighter, with less emotional baggage, makes the journey more enjoyable.

∞ Rob McBride ∞
LL IV 31