There was once a time when I thought stuff could equal happiness. When I was young, I put a lot of faith in labels and image. I believed that wearing certain clothes could make me popular. It never worked. Not once. Every change I made was a wasted attempt to fit in. It would be a couple of decades before I realized that fitting in was a myth. There wasn’t a special recipe of things I could own that would make me acceptable to those who didn’t like me. How many times have you caught yourself thinking…”if only I had this…THEN I would be happy/popular/accepted/liked/loved”? Those movies from the “old days”, as my kids like to call them, often showed people arriving at lavish places, or not-so-lavish places, with all of their luggage stacked up on carts in tow behind them. Typically, an overworked bell boy struggled to keep the stack from toppling over and injuring people, but sometimes, the luggage was the owner’s responsibility. All. Those. Suitcases. All. That. Stuff.
All. That. Personal. Baggage.
Once I started traveling, I realized it was important to pack light. I didn’t have a bell boy in tow. I traveled solo, so I had to carry my own luggage. And, in order to arrive at my destination with all of my belongings, I learned how to pack light enough to fit everything into my carry on. No lost luggage. I realize it isn’t always possible to travel that lightly, but, whenever it is, I do.
In our journey through life, we acquire a lot of things. There are movements now to ensure those things last a lifetime. We are a throwaway society. Waste has become our middle name. Trends. This is in; that is out. That was soooooo last week! We begin to think it is our responsibility to keep up. But in the end, we have to carry our own baggage. It’s ultimately up to us how heavy a load we can handle. It’s also up to us to choose what things to leave behind. No one else can decide for you what you need to take along on your journey. That’s up to you. But be open to the idea that your things do not define who you are as a person. Nor does your past. Be open to the idea that people are going to like you because of their own ideas. They will also dislike you for the same reason. You have absolutely no control over their feelings. Nor are you responsible for them. What matters is that YOU like you. After all, you are the only one who will always be with you on your journey.
Not all things are tangible. Things like anger, regret, doubt, disappointment, and hate take up a tremendous amount of otherwise usable space in our lives. Those things are heavy. They hold us back from our journey. I recommend tossing those negative things and making room for joy and wonder and gratitude. They are much easier to carry. And much more fun.
Remember, the lighter you pack, the easier you’ll travel. And…you’ll have room to pick up some goodies along the way. Happy journeying!