CARRYING BAGGAGE

woman with vintage suitcase near asphalt road

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The phrase “carrying baggage” reminds me of people, trying to fit a “too large” piece of luggage into a plane’s overhead compartment. They seemingly don’t want to “check” the bag at the ticket counter, so, they push, prod and squeeze the bag in hopes it will fit. All that effort, only to have the attendant “check” the bag at the boarding gate.

white luggage near the couch
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

I have seen this transaction happen over and over again. Efforts to avoid the “checked bag” fee result in the luggage being “checked” anyway. Life is sometimes like this too. We find ourselves carrying baggage that we should have “checked” in the past.

What Are You Carrying

I recently heard Joyce Meyer say the following: “Don’t carry yesterday’s mess into today.” Of course I started thinking about whether I had any “mess” that I am trying to carry from the past into today. The short answer is YES!

There seems to be two general kinds of baggage carriers. Nostalgic people hold onto memories and feelings that keep them from enjoying the present. And ruminators are people who overthink and get stuck in the cycle of “shoulda, coulda, woulda” and can’t enjoy the present. Which one are you?

I’m not a very nostalgic person although I am terrific at ruminating. Without question, I have mastered the ability to replay an event over and over in my mind. Each time imagining things I could have done or said differently. Or, I imagine interactions that will likely never happen and consider all the possible outcomes. It’s an obsessive loop that yields nothing in the end. Rumination is definitely baggage I should “check”!

Checking My Bags

It’s hard to admit how often I do this but acknowledgement is the first step toward a solution. Now that I recognize this negative thinking pattern, I can take action to stop it. When I find myself in this loop, it’s time to check my bags. Here are some things I do to stop this negative pattern:

  • Distract myself with a task, change of scenery, or even watching a movie.
  • Remind myself that overthinking is a waste of time that leads to nowhere.
  • Take action if there is something that needs to be resolved.
  • Meditate to restore my focus on the present.

Final Thoughts

Life is simply too short to not be fully present. The people I love most deserve to have my full attention and not a distracted version of myself. I don’t want to miss the joys and opportunities of today because I won’t let go of yesterday’s stuff.

I’m definitely a work in progress and focused on enjoying each new day without carrying baggage.

10 thoughts on “CARRYING BAGGAGE

  1. Thanks so much for this great reminder Leigh! I’m really good at ruminating too…. Like you, I’m learning to redirect that energy into things that are much more useful – like being present. As you said, “Life is simply too short to not be fully present.” Thanks again for reminding me to make sure I “check my baggage” and live life to its fullest!

    1. Thank you Terri for your kind words. It’s such a challenge in our fast paced world to really be present and not distracted. Here’s to “checking our bags”! Have a great weekend and Best Wishes! Leigh

  2. Those are great suggestions to change the negative pattern. And such a good reminder to check the baggage from yesterday at the door and say SEE YA! Wishing you a nice weekend ahead, Leigh.

  3. Such a great post Leigh. I am in constant need of reminders when it comes to ruminating and the dreaded would, should, could have… We must all do this to some degree, it might be a healthy tactic on a small scale because when I consider how I could do something differently next time in a sense I’m using my mistakes and failures to grow. The problem comes when our thoughts become obsessive and like you say, when they distract you from being present to the people who need you. Don’t laugh, but I’m going to need to think on this a little more! Hugs, C

  4. Awesome post, Leigh! 💖 Although I don’t ruminate a lot, I do get nostalgic at times and reflect back in time on wonderful memories- my dad being in the Army and how we used to travel so much (I enjoyed traveling), my kids being born and watching them grow, listening to.music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Although it’s something I enjoy, I do try not to get too caught up in reminiscing because it can impede my work and be a time killer. And I fail at that sometimes. Thank you so much for bringing this to attention! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  5. Awesome post, Leigh! 💖 Although I don’t ruminate a lot, I do get nostalgic at times and reflect back in time on wonderful memories- my dad being in the Army and how we used to travel so much (I enjoyed traveling), my kids being born and watching them grow, listening to.music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Although it’s something I enjoy, I do try not to get too caught up in reminiscing because it can impede my work and be a time killer. And I fail at that sometimes. Thank you so much for bringing this to attention! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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