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Releasing the Baggage

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”

— Steve Maraboli

My dearest readers,

My message today is very simple: Let it go!

As we prepare for our upcoming tea party, I thought I would get you up to speed on what we’ve previously discussed. In September, we began a "Moving4Ward" journey. This journey represents breaking up with the dark areas in your life, moving through transition, and getting to a settled place to build and grow. Our first stop on this journey was 'No More Baggage'. We concluded that baggage is anything good or bad that does not compliment where you are in life or where you’re going. It was a very intense and liberating message. Little did I know that my process would begin after the message. While I have definitely released some major emotional baggage, I later realized that I have tons more that I have somehow managed to store in the attic, basement, and other seldom visited storage zones of my mind. This all became apparent to me as I was transitioning from my old laptop to a new one. I had several pictures that were stored on my old computer that I hadn’t looked at in years. I honestly forgot they existed. As I began to open up the files it was like I had opened an old box stored in the back of my closet. Picture after picture took me back to things I didn’t know I needed to let go. These memories came rushing at me, opening a load of forgiveness that I completely forgot to extend. 'Throwback Thursday' was more than a “remember when?” for me on this day. It became a doorway to unaddressed emotions. And those emotions triggered unanswered questions. “How could they do this to me?” “What ever happened to this,” I asked as I began to tear open bags of emotions that I had somehow managed to distance myself from. I had bags of anger, disappointment, incomplete tasks, dreams, friendships, love, hate and the list goes on. I initially thought that baggage was only the things that weighed me down. But baggage can also be the things I have swept under the rug or subconsciously dismissed. Though tearing open each bag was like tearing into my heart, I realized it was necessary because baggage has to be released. It can’t remain in the closet no one goes in or stored at grandma's house (where everyone stores their bags). You must let baggage go.

With this revelation, I went on an intense cleaning spree at my home. I was determined to intentionally face whatever skeletons were left in my closet. No longer would I find comfort in them just being there. As I sorted through each bag it allowed me the opportunity to sort through my emotions. There were some things that I had simply outgrown. They weren't necessarily bad but they were no longer a good fit for me. Yet, for whatever reason I resolved to keep them close to me for those just in case moments. Then there were things that needed to go straight to the garbage. They're no good for anyone. Yet, for whatever reason I resolved to keep them close as well, which left me with this question, “What is the whatever reason?”. Why is it so hard to let go? As I began to throw out my maternity clothes, my old pictures, diaper bags, old toys and books that I was never ever going to read, I found myself getting emotional. I realized something about myself. I struggle with endings. Period. Finality is a very difficult thing for me. All my life good byes have always been associated with death and heartache. And now I needed to seriously find the good in good bye. That’s when it all began to make sense to me. Letting go is just as much an end to a chapter as it is the beginning of a new one. As soon as I was willing to let go, the sooner I could open myself up to new experiences. Not only did I need to face the baggage in my home but I had to give my family the ok to throw away any baggage I may have left for them to carry. This has not been easy but it is so extremely necessary.

For the remainder of this month I challenge you to sort through your bags. Pull out what you will keep, what may good for someone else, and what you simply need to throw away. Allow yourself to be encouraged in knowing that not all good byes are final. What you think you’re going to miss today just may be waiting on you at the next stop. Until then, pack your bags but leave the baggage. Remember to take only what you need.

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