We are all baggage handlers!
Like a bellhop unloading luggage from atop an old station wagon, each and every one of us has learned in some capacity to carry the heavy loads handed down. Some items, we understand their weight, but others, we become unknowingly burdened the moment we say “yes, I am ready”.
Humans sign many different contracts at the moment of conception, and because they are not capable of holding the quill to sign these contracts themselves, family karma steps in as the legal guardian.
From the moment we are born, we are bound by contractual guidelines defining the who, what, when, where and why of our existence. We accept these terms and conditions, under the guise of tradition and family. We are fearful to stand up for ourselves or speak from a different perspective so as not to upset the family. We act because it is what we have learned. We speak, or remain silent, because it is the rule of our existence. We become far from authentic individuals and begin to absorb the belief systems, dogma and behaviors of our family, our relationships and our experiences.
Baggage comes in all forms, shapes, colors, styles and even with a variety of compartments. There is no “one size fits all” piece of luggage for everyone.
What is most important to understand about baggage is that:
Baggage is not our own, but rather any behaviors, experiences and emotions handed down from circumstances and individuals of our PAST, including parents, grandparents, caregivers, and anyone who was responsible for our existence as it is TODAY.
The moment we become aware of this, we become responsible for the baggage and what we choose to do with it.
This is not to say that we are responsible and should be held accountable for horrible things that were done by members of your family! Quite the contrary. Responsibility means that as an individual, we have the ability to….get this….CHANGE and ALTER the path of what is deemed as negative baggage.
Oh, yes! We possess this very power.
Before I move forward with the two simple steps to completing this powerful act, I must first rewind and share with you the societal definition of baggage and how it impacts everything moving forward.
Baggage is seen as a negative by today’s definition. It is a term used to describe the state of emotion when someone has been dealt seemingly challenging cards in their life such as divorce, addiction, the loss of a child or loved one, financial struggles, physical trauma such as rape or a horrific accident.
It is held equivalent to a brick holding someone down or preventing them from somehow being “worthy” of a person.
I have witnessed my own family members telling their loved ones a person has “TOO MUCH” baggage, when they describe where a person has come to a specific point in life, as if that person who endured a traumatic event or went through a divorce somehow is less worthy of love and affection.
My own brother in law describes his self choice perpetual singledom as a certain type of freedom from the baggage carried forth by women of his age. He prefers the solace of a strip club and bringing home transient young girls who he meets on the street to the possibility of having to “ENDURE” the baggage that comes with a real relationship.
I’m not saying this is wrong, nor am I saying it is right.
I’m simply highlighting the negative association with the term “baggage” and how its use can actually create a negative spiderweb of future associations.
All humans who are mentally capable of giving love are absolutely deserving of a chance to heal themselves from baggage and family karma.
Once we become aware that we are indeed responsible for the baggage of our parental choices, our grandparent’s poor behaviors and our ancestral experiences, then WE POSSESS THE POWER TO CHANGE IT.
By an interpretive definition, responsibility means that “I possess the ability to change something”. It means that once I possess knowledge of an act, key information or a discovery, I now own part of it and have the ability to change its impact. In order to change that of which I am now aware, I must learn to let it go. I must learn to forgive. I must learn to release blame. This sounds so simple when written on paper.
After suffering a childhood of sexual trauma, how does one simply ACCEPT this? Oddly enough, I was able to look at the woman I am today and show gratitude for how this traumatic experience provided the nutrients for my growth. I forgave the man who brought me temporary emotional and physical harm. He is no longer a cancer within my soul. I cannot say the same for the others he harmed. I no longer cry or suffer or feel bad inside for what he did. I know IT is still there, but only in the sense that IT is part of the whole me; the perfect me. I don’t point the finger at anyone for allowing it to happen. I don’t blame his mother for hiding what he did. Its a story now. Part of my history, and as I tell this story I realize that I can begin…..
MOVING FORWARD, which is the second part of healing family karma and baggage.
Moving forward does not mean forget all that has happened. It means that I now possess total control over me and I will no longer tolerate nor will I accept those behaviors I do not want in my life from this day forward. Their response from that point is on them. It no longer has anything to do with me. My boundary.
I can now speak from a space of kindness when I am placed in the proximity of this individual. I can say “I appreciate the hospitality, but I am going to head out. Thank you” when I am with family and he enters my space. If anyone gets offended, that is their problem. If anyone gossips or speaks out against my decisions, that is their problem.
Within our own spaces, we can look around and pay special attention to what baggage has been carried down, generationally. Are you a drunk just like your mother? Do you enable criminal behaviors of your own children because your great grand parents did so of theirs? Do you look around and see that each of your family members is morbidly obese and rampant with health conditions? Is their significant dysfunction within your own family? Do you yourself possess certain behaviors that are causing conflict in your own life, such as relationship hopping, lack of commitment or criminal activity?
Next, we must begin to show ourselves GRATITUDE for who we are right now, in this very moment and extend gratitude to our entire ancestral line, including our parents, because this is how they modeled us to be.
Writing down a list of ten items we appreciate about each of our family members and caregivers who had a direct hand in our upbringing will help us identify the positives in our lives. Then, writing down a list of five things about those same family members and caregivers that we would like to let go, even if these are unconscious beliefs.
Finally, sink your feet deep into the earth and move forward with those things that bring YOU joy.
BAGGAGE connects each and every one of us. No one is free from baggage, however, each of us possess the power to set ourselves free from baggage.
We are all the vessels holding the ancestral love of millions.