So many times we treat our family and friends like bellhops without even recognizing it. We start off wanting someone to help us by bearing our burden (although we may not even be sure in what way exactly) and they end up carrying our baggage. We all go through trials and we need support (emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally) and it may start off with us receiving prayers, words of encouragement, etc. but somewhere along the way, the burden turns into baggage.
- The burden of healing after a bad breakup turns into the baggage of being discontented with (wo)men or assuming all of them are dogs, golddiggers, etc. and finding something wrong with everyone else that our friends try to introduce us to.
- The burden of finding a new job turns into the baggage of others paying our bills because they do not want us to be homeless or go without things we need and in the process we become dependent on them even after we may find a job to pay all our own bills.
- The burden of self-improvement turns into the baggage of us frustrating others when we fail at keeping up our end of the bargain of being held accountable.
But back to the baggage...We always hear that we are supposed to learn from a situation but leave the baggage. So many times we think we do that, only to find that we have been dragging our baggage behind us on a cart tied to our ankle. When our pace slows because we find ourselves back in the same situation, that is when the baggage cart keeps rolling and hits us in the achilles tendon like how kids catch their moms with grocery carts and we are reminded all over again about the baggage we have been dragging. The easiest way to do a spring cleaning is to go over the baggage that you have (including your carry-ons) and start looking at what is packed in them. If there is no useful information or outcomes, then it is not worth holding onto. Nobody packs heavy coats, earmuffs, scarves, winter boots and gloves to go to a beach destination vacation...if the items inside the suitcase are not the right ones, you do yourself no favor by bringing them.
Now letting go of baggage can be hard, but believe me, you will start to see how much lighter you feel in all aspects after getting rid of things. Keep this in mind though, you can only get rid of your own baggage....you cannot help someone else get rid of theirs. People will only get rid of their baggage when THEY are tired of dealing with it. (Reminiscent of my Hoarding and Addition to Hoarding blogs). When we refuse to get rid of our baggage we build an area around us, where our baggage is just sitting and it keeps others at bay.
Imagine sitting in the middle of a room with about 100 suitcases surrounding you. Some suitcases are small and light while others are large and heavy. When other people come to you, they cannot even approach you becuase you are surrounded by baggage, they cannot get to know the real you without having to move or carry away some of your baggage. Now think of how many pieces of luggage you personally can move without getting tired quickly...now imagine someone else doing the moving. People will give up on trying to get to know you or help you because you have too much baggage in the way.
Remember the bellhop? Everybody has a purpose, everybody has a part to play, and everyone deserves appreciation. In most areas, it is a general custom to tip the bellhop and we need to remember to tip ours. Most of the time our friends do not want or expect a financial payback for their listening ear or advice, but a word of thanks, a note, text or card is a nice thoughtful way to pay them. Think of how you want others to respond when you come to their aid...Remember, when we remember to keep our baggage light and tip the bellhops, they do not seem to mind helping us when we repeatedly need it.