I’m a platinum-card-carrying member of the Grown Girls Baggage Club – and I’m not proud of it. In fact, I don’t know too many people who aren’t – members of the club that is. The baggage I’m referring to is emotional baggage, and it’s defined as the “emotional turmoil caused by some issue in someone’s past.” It’s the stuff that’s strewn along our life’s path and the thing we perform mind bending acrobatics to avoid confronting. It weighs us down and prevents us from being the women we’ve always known we could be.
Emotional baggage can manifest itself in compulsive overeating, alcoholism and drug abuse, but it’s usually much more subtle. If you’re a woman who hears the word “no” and turns it into “no, you’re not pretty enough, no, you’re not smart enough, or no, you’re not valuable enough,” then you might be a member of the club. It might take the form of the dysfunctional relationships you keep repeating with men, friends or family. Or it could be the script you repeat to yourself when things don’t go the way you planned. The script that includes phrases like “I’ll never…”, “I can’t…” and “I’ll always…” – all said with a negative connotation and all telltale signs of card carrying membership.
But the thing about the emotional baggage strewn across the paths in our lives is that regardless of who helped us pack them and put them there, only we have the power to remove them. I’m still carrying around some of the baggage I packed over 30 years ago, but I’m determined, as I enter my 40th year, to begin the work of unpacking those bags and leaving them in the past where they belong.
This week we’ll start digging into our baggage and begin the work of discarding them one by one. I’ll also be sharing an article from Esther Kane on the vulnerable little girl inside of all of us who seems so determined to hang on to the things us grown girls need to let go.
Are you a card carrying member of The Grown Girls Baggage Club? What have you been lugging and for how long? And are you finally ready to get rid of it? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Facebook Fan Page.
Photo credit: geishaboy500