Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not All Bags Ride for Free

I kept falling over
I kept looking backward
I went broke believing
That the simple should be hard

All we are we are

And every day is a start of something beautiful

All We Are - Matt Nathanson

We all have baggage. Some have more than others. I don't think you ever get over some things but you learn how to deal with them. It is freeing to leave some things behind. Knowing where, why and how is the key.

Life is constantly throwing us curve balls. We try to keep things in perspective and under control but there are always things we can’t control. So we learn to deal with the unexpected. Sometimes the unexpected brings situations that result in unwanted feelings. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Often people in our lives disappoint us. However, you can’t change people but you can change your reaction to them.

If you have lived life at all, you have experienced the extreme highs and lows. Unfortunately, lows are part of life but we can gain strength from it. There is something heroic about overcoming adversity. It builds character. I would rather bear the load of knowledge than run with the lightness of inexperience.

I had four years that crushed me emotionally, physically and financially. I wanted to move away to start over. I thought maybe out West or even Europe. I needed to clear my head and just shed all the places and things that reminded me of the most recent and worst years of my life. But thankfully fear of the unknown kept me in one place long enough to realize that no matter where you run to the baggage goes with you. So I decided to stay and sort my life out so I could get a fresh start when I was ready. I am glad I did since it took me longer to clean the slate than I would have even imagined. You have the keys to lock away the past.

I had never been to California before and it was one of the few states I had not been to. I went two weekends back to back. The first was to Southern California to make some serious decisions about my future and the next was to Northern California to clear my head and make a plan as a result of my choices. Sometimes a different perspective allows us to see things in more clearly.

During that second weekend in California I played out different scenarios. Would it be healthy to leave my support network of friends and family? Was it smart to try to start over all on my own in a new city looking for a new job with no friends? Did I need to be alone to regain my life? Isolation is not always the answer. Why try to start over and take unresolved issues with you?

Not all bags ride for free. Think of a relationship as a one passenger plane. Yet a relationship usually consists of more than one person. There is only enough room for luggage or the other passenger. So what if there is too much baggage to leave it behind? There is always a choice and usually a sacrifice.

Be comfortable with who you are and make peace with where you have been. Forgive yourself and others. You have to release negativity or it will eat you up inside. Life is short, blame is lame. Some things change you forever but you can control if it is for the better or worse. You can choose to see things positively or not. It is amazing how resilient we have the ability to be. Experiences can make you richer than money can.

Today does not know yesterday; tomorrows are not built on what would have, could have or should have been.

By Trey Mitchell

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