Carrying baggage is exhausting. When traveling we often pack more than we need. When making a trip it’s always easier to travel light.
Life is a trip. The longer we live the more we seem to pack and try to carry. Our mind has so many shelves, drawers and spaces for luggage of all shapes and sizes. We have this giant closet inside our brains that we fill up throughout life.
Your mental closet is filled with memories that are good and not so good. You may have spaces filled with grief, sadness, hurts, rejection, loss, failure, disappointments, defeats and more. You also hopefully have stored up some happy times, victories, successes, celebrations, achievements, love, relationships and peace. Hopefully your mind is filled with more positive happy events.
I heard the story about a young man who loved his cat. The cat died and his mother gave him permission to bury his cat in the backyard. The mother became appalled when she discovered her son was digging up the cat every few days to see how the cat was doing. Too often we live our lives this way. We dig up old stuff that needs to remain buried forever.
Too often the mind carries what cannot be physically buried, good or bad. We are frequently impacted by what we keep stored. One cold morning, a little boy put his backside up against an old coal stove. The hot stove burned his bottom and he knew never to do that again. What we have stored up in our minds can often serve us well. Wisdom is gained the hard way. The school of hard knocks is educational and expensive. We pay dearly throughout life to learn the hard way. Thus, what we have stored up can be very valuable to us as we face additional life challenges and opportunities.
Your past decisions, work, interests, achievements, failures and mistakes all play a part in where you are today. This could be very good. Or, it could be very bad. If you learned from your mistakes and moved forward then you may be further ahead than you ever imagined. If you didn’t learn from your mistakes and you continue to make them then frustration and sadness is haunting you.
Today is a new day. You can’t change the past. You do not know the future. Live your best life now. Dispose of as much baggage as you can. Do away with old resentments and regrets. Forgive people. Forgive yourself. Don’t live in the cemetery but live with hope of seeing your loved one in a better place.
Paul, the author of Philippians said it this way, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.