Unpacking the bags

Although it is a little cliche, it’s true: Most of us are carrying a fair amount of “baggage.”  Baggage from our childhoods, baggage from past relationships, baggage from past failures, baggage from our baggage.  And many times we are so busy getting through each day, that we don’t take time to reflect on how we got to be the way we are today.

Let’s take a couple: The husband grew up in a home with a very controlling mother who had anger problems.  Lo and behold he marries a very controlling woman with anger problems.  Well the wife grew up in a home with a passive father who never stood up for himself and what do you know…she married a passive man who lets the world walk all over him.  It’s very convenient and comfortable for these two to keep living their lives the way they always have.  But it takes courage for them to look at the bad habits and say “We want more!”  The wife could realize that she doesn’t have to call all the shots just because her mother did.  She could see what it’s like to let her husband make a decision.  The husband could work on becoming more assertive while respecting his wife’s different way of seeing the world.

Now we all know everyone doesn’t marry or find a partner who is an exact replica of our parents.  Sometimes there are other issues related to our past that come back to haunt us time and time again.  Maybe you never felt like you were “good enough” growing up, so you’re a chronic people pleaser and always put yourself last.  Maybe you were hurt in a prior relationship so you’ve sworn to yourself you’ll never open yourself up to that again, and you’re walking around with a concrete wall around your heart.

My challenge to you today: Think of one way you are still being a slave to your past.  And challenge yourself to change one teeny, tiny thing today.  Don’t try to do a 100% overhaul, that’s unrealistic and exhausting.  Think of a small goal for yourself: “Today I will do something good for myself.”  “Today I will really listen to my husband and let him know I care about his opinion.”  “Today I will make more eye contact and smile and stop expecting the worst from people.”  You get the idea.  So go out there and feel the freedom of mixing things up.

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One Response to “Unpacking the bags”

  1. jennylovesjohn Says:

    Awesome challenge! Thanks for encouraging me to think about how I can improve!

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