As a family, we enjoy road trips. We like adventuring out to a Kite festival or a vacation destination or just to tour the back-water places of western Canada and the United States. They are wonderful adventures and along with discovering a lot of interesting things (like carpolite a.k.a petrified dinosaur poo!) and people, we have a great time as a family. For a number of years, preparing for a road trip was a chore and a half! We packed so much that our children were, for all intent and purpose, buried in the back of our minivan by all baggage we bought along. It was not a lot of fun for them, not to mention the process of assembling and packing it all was at times monumentally exasperating! As we gained some experience along the way and started to recognize that all that baggage was of no benefit, we learned to lighten the load, and we shed most of the things we thought we should be bringing. The upshot? It made the road trip more enjoyable for my children - they could see what we were driving by! It made preparing for the journey a lot easier and we discovered how little we really needed to enjoy truly the road trip and each other!
There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” - C.S. Lewis
It's no secret in life; many are carrying a great deal of baggage - this takes the forms of hurts, fears, anxieties, desires, expectations and all the mental / behaviors systems we keep in place to manage these. The challenge is, carrying all this heavy baggage wherever we go can just plainly wear us out and greatly impact our enjoyment of our lives. Truth be told, we really need to look at our life through fresh eyes and carefully explore what it is we are carrying and why. Through these fresh eyes, we can begin to see those things that are truly necessary and will contribute in life-giving ways and those things that consume more life than they actually contribute.
Here are a couple of questions to help you pack emotionally smarter for your next stretch of the journey of life:
1) What are those things that are truly USEFUL? Ask yourself - does this lead me into life or is it holding me back? Does it help me to experience truly life or insulate me from it?
2) What is truly beautiful, inspiring and precious to you at the deepest level? If you could only take a few of the emotional / mental treasures what would they be?
Sit with these two questions and see what begins to come to the fore. I understand that identifying extra baggage is very different than actually leaving it behind, but in doing so, you begin to see the unhealthy baggage in a new light, and this can be the first step into greater freedom!