Excess Baggage ~ What Is It Costing You?

I am a heavy packer.  Okay...the truth is that I am an excessive packer.  There, I said it.  In fact, I was once on a trip to St. Croix with a friend of mine.  Unfortunately, I didn't know you were not only limited on weight for your check-in luggage when  you checked into the puddle jumper flight to Puerto Rico, BUT you were limited to THAT total weight for your check-in luggage.  I was unable to simply buy my way out of it (as I had on the way down).  Anybody already a step ahead of me?  So, they made me take the extra weight and carry it on (Hint:  I already had two carry-ons) and it didn't matter to them how many carry-ons I had or their weight.  Seriously!?  Yes, seriously.  I lugged four carry-ons to Puerto Rico, to Dallas, and then to Little Rock.  Four!!!  Two of them full of books.  Don't get me started...I need an entire post to truly delve into my book obsession.  The entire set of flights home, I am trying to figure out what IDIOT came up with that brilliant logic that the weight inside the seating area of the plane was somehow different than the weight under the plane.  Really?!  (I hope I haven't offended anyone...who works at an airline...sorry, and if you can explain it to me...I am all ears.) 

That story makes me think....Do you know how much it costs to check luggage these days?  Up to $50 a bag on some airlines.  Is anyone else bewildered and outraged by that?  I guess it depends on if you tend to carry a lot of excess baggage.  I do; so that...is what got me to thinking...

Do you think if we had to pay a fee for all of the excess baggage we carry around all day, every day, that we would actually drop it off somewhere?  By the way, I am speaking metaphorically....because I am seriously in trouble if I discuss this literally (anyone remember the briefbag post). :)

I had a friend once, a preacher, who was my "Spiritual Head".  At least that is what he called himself (half-joking/half-serious), and during that time I needed extra guidance.  For those who do meditation, etc., I guess you would liken him to my own personal Guru. :)  I digress.  John used to tell me that I was the worst he'd ever seen at taking something to God, praying and giving it up to him, and then when I would get up, I would pick it back up and take it with me.  Maybe I didn't trust God with it, or maybe I wasn't quite ready to give up control of it.  I am sure it was one, both, or any number of other reasons.  I got his point though, and I started working very hard at giving stuff up to God and then letting him keep it when I got off my knees.  Some things were easier than others.  Let me not lie here...some are still extremely difficult for me. 

My point is that we all have excess baggage in our life.  Past mistakes.  Childhood issues.  Parent issues.  Family issues in general.  Mistake after mistake that haunt us constantly.  Why?  Because we carry them around with us every day, all day, in all that we do.  It is exhausting.  Why do we do that?  How can we stop?

I have read lost of articles on this, and they always start with you have to forgive yourself of any past failings, regrets, or let go of hurts others have done to you.  I have begun to think that is an oversimplification and not really the best first step.  I think all that does is give you a task you can get temporarily lost in.  First things first.  What you really might need to do is ask yourself....Am I ready to let go?  Imagine your life if you really did let go.  What would it look like?  Lets be honest.  Some people like their excess baggage, and they wear it like a badge of honor.  Some use it as a security blanket.  It takes a lot of discipline to really get rid of it, and you are not going to be disciplined about something unless your whole heart is in it. 

I am in the middle of working on a presentation I have been asked to give on passion.  I am honored, humbled and scared too death...mainly, I am thrilled to death.  Passion...now that is something I can lose myself in discussing all day.  (BTW the speech is to a professional group before anyone gets nervous.)  When you think about passion, I doubt you correlate it with excess baggage, but I would.  If you really want to heal from the past.  If you really want to move forward with a full, happy, wonderful life...you have to be passionate about letting go of the past.  Letting go does not mean never having to think of it again.  Just like the excess baggage I take on the airplane, I keep paying for it until one day I stop the madness, and I learn.  I learn that if I would pack less, pack lighter, or just drive instead of fly...I could avoid the extra fees.  I believe you have to ask yourself...What is it going to take for me to finally let go?

I don't have all of the answers on this topic ~ not by a long shot.  I struggle with this in my own life.  What I do know is that each day is a gift.  A do-over, if you will.  A fresh start, and if you begin each day weighed down by the mistakes you made before...well, you are done before you start.  I just saw the movie Secretariat a few weeks back, and I swear I wept like a baby (no surprise to those who know me) and cheered.  Then, when I saw the actual footage of the 1973 Belmont Stakes Win, I cried and cheered some more.  I even watched the documentary they did on the real owner, Secretariat, and the cast and crew of the film.  In that, someone said that when he died they did an autopsy and his heart was nearly twice as large as any other horse's heart they had ever seen.  Double!  They said, he was just born to run; his heart was born to run.  In the film, his owner on eve of the 1973 Belmont Stakes said to him, "...run your race..."  Run your race.  I don't know about you, but I can't run my race carrying 50 extra pounds, or even 10 extra pounds.  To run my race, I need to be free of excess baggage so that I can just let it all go and R~U~N! :)

Are you running your race today?  What excess baggage do you have weighing you down?  Are you sitting on the runway about to miss your flight because you are carrying too much, or even on the floor of the airport shuffling your baggage around to "appear" lighter or squeak through security?  Stop.  Breathe.  Assess.   Reassess.

Tomorrow morning when you wake up...you get a do-over.  Be glad because you get another chance to embrace happiness...embrace life.  Don't worry...I am just guessing, but I bet you can find anything you forgot at your next stop.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)