There’s a suitcase that exists for all of us. To us, it’s a plain, black suitcase with nothing to draw attention to itself. It’s un-decorated, unassuming, and uninteresting. To US.
To everyone else, it’s a cross between a disco ball and a hurricane. Impossible to ignore, and leaving a wake of destruction in its path, discriminating against no one.
Our baggage. For some of us it’s little more than a carry-on piece, a backpack perhaps. Easy to carry. For others, a convoy of box-trunks, tied to our ankles, with a one-way ticket to the BOTTOM.
For us “normal people” who are right in between, it’s a large roller-bag. Large, but easily transported, always strolling faithfully behind us. When stationary, it’s easy to forget that it’s back there. And even in motion, it seems easy at first. The wheels provide little resistance to our destination, but the weight begins to tug at our shoulders after a while.
When we’re in a hurry, it slows us down, like those vivid dreams where our running only happens in slow motion.
Some co-inhabitants of the world insist on chopping the wheels off their bags, and dragging them on the floor. Like a 2-year old trying trying desperately to display their protest at having to carry their own bag. Others, pull out the space bags, vacuum cleaner, and try to condense theirs to fit into a fanny-pack. (Which, in case you were just born, went out of style back in the 80’s.)
Our baggage is annoying, but utterly necessary. In the airport, but in life as well. Maybe you’re a baggage hoarder. You compartmentalize the junk, but periodically pull one small section out, examine it, react to it, over-dramatize it, then set it back in its place, and seal it securely. A baggage hoarder: you have no need for it anymore, but you still keep it in its “special spot.”
Or perhaps you’ve given yourself a mental lobotomy in order to make it through. Like locking away your tools before you were done painting your living room. “Hey, I needed those.” Sure, painting your living room might not be the most enjoyable of tasks, but burying the paint brush doesn’t erase the need for a fresh coat.
I have dealt with a large chunk of my crap, but this hasn’t erased its presence in my life. My husband is beginning to deal with his, and half the time isn’t even aware that it affects him. “It’s not manly to deal with baggage,” most men believe.
Couldn’t be further from the truth. Your true masculinity is often trapped by layers of stuffage that’s been building up for years. Baggage comes with guilt, shame, fear, and passivity…for men.
For women, it’s served well-done with a side of low self-worth, shame, depression, and dysfunctional relationships.
DON’T DO IT. Don’t invite these things in. Don’t invite them in to stay awhile. Give them to God. Even if you don’t know WHAT your crap is, like a dream that begins to fade into nothing more than wisps of an idea as soon as you wake up. God knows. He will take it, (in His time) and heal it. He will give you a scar to remind you. He will create forgiveness in your heart, which once bore resentment.
I’m living proof that this can, and will continue to happen. And let me tell you, living life ALIVE is way better than living life mostly-dead.