Screening Your Baggage
I’m no fan of the TSA. Sporting a titanium hip, I will set off any metal detector at the airport. Which means I get the luxury of full body pat down, not one of my favorite activities. But it is a price I am willing to put up with in order to travel safely.
Just like the TSA needs to screen the bags at the airport for anything which might be damaging, many of us have become very well versed in screening the baggage of others to see what damage it might cause in our lives. Yet they are completely blind to their own baggage.
If you have learned to walk, then you have baggage. What is rarely discussed is what we should be doing with the baggage in our lives.
Identify Your Baggage
First off you need to identify the baggage in your life. Some baggage will be easy, like quick to anger, can’t balance a checkbook, or inability to keep relationships. If you are honest you can see these quickly as some part of your life which seems off kilter.
Other areas of your life may be more difficult to identify. The lack of confidence in your work, effects of growing up with a single parent, or struggling to come out of the shadows of your life. These areas may take more time to identify. But your attempts to lighten your load will be based upon identifying these obstacles appropriately.
Overall, you are attempting to identify areas in your life with take you off course. Ways you act differently than your plan or hopes suggests. Specific instances where you struggle to cope or deal with circumstances. Asking yourself the question “What is keeping me from moving forward?”
Identify How Your Baggage Affects You
Once you have identified your baggage, then it is important to understand how it has affected your life. People who have experienced the same loss or pain can react in extremely different manners. Which is why it’s important to understand how your baggage has affected you personally.
Are you angry because of constant frustrations you face in life. Or because of a pain or loss from childhood? Do you struggle with relationships because of how they were modeled to you by family and friends? Is your confidence shot because of the negative people that surround you?
You need to be diligent in figuring out how the baggage is affecting your life and discover the source. Your lack of confidence may not be all in your head. The sooner you can discover the source of your baggage the sooner you can move clear of its effects on your life.
Learn From Your Baggage
Once you have identified your baggage it is important to learn from them. The temptation is to brush them aside as quickly as possible. And in some cases, this may be necessary. But pushing them away without ever learning from them can deny you some very important growth.
What you learn from your baggage is entirely up to you. You may need to understand why you have reacted in certain ways in certain circumstances. The desire to discover reasons behind bad habits, routines, or desires. What you want to gain from this step is the ability to understand why you have acted in certain ways. This understanding can give you the ability to walk away in a more direct manner. Otherwise, at the first sign of trouble you may attempt to revert back to your old habits.
Put It Carefully Away
Now it is time to put your baggage away. This is much easier said than done. Putting away your baggage may require you to seek professional counseling. It may be introducing new habits in your life to replace the unhealthy habits. You may need to change settings, seek out new friends, or forsake some of the things you did in your past. No matter what path you take, ensure you are carefully putting your baggage away.
Any abrupt attempt to overcome this part will most likely result in an unsuccessful departure. Or your baggage will reenter your life and the most inopportune moments. This is not a process you want to rush. Take your time, do it right, and learn to live freer.
Don’t Let It Back In
To ensure your baggage stays where it belongs build in some checkpoints along your journey. This will require you to write out a plan. When you have identified how your baggage affects you, begin write out how you will properly respond when placed in those situations again. A proper response when you tend to get angry. Writing out a plan of meditation or visualization when your confidence is running low.
If you don’t know how you will properly respond in a certain situation, you most likely will respond poorly. By writing out a plan to identify how you will respond you are keep your baggage safely where it belongs. You are no longer letting other events, people, or circumstances define how you will live your life. You are living life in your terms and loving every moment.
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