While listening to a book on Audible recently, the author used a phrase when describing a situation faced by one of the characters.
He stated, “Mark’s life has been hell for far too long, and the big issue is that he has yet to deal with his unresolved baggage.”
When I heard these words, I was immediately captivated, and I wanted to learn more about my own unresolved baggage. For me, it’s sometimes tough to be introspective about this baggage, especially because I react to situations based on past personal experiences.
Here are some examples …
- I grew up in Uvalde, Texas, and we were migrant workers. Intensive labor started at the age of 11. Because of this baggage (past experiences), I have a hard time accepting what I perceive to be laziness. I sometimes get upset when others fail to do their part. Instead of letting things go, I hold on to the resentment.
- When I was in high school, more than 30 years ago, I was passed over for a scholar-athlete award. From my perspective, I met all the requirements. I was the QB on the football team, captain of the basketball squad, and I even participated in track. From an academic standpoint, my GPA was 3.60. To this day, I am upset with the decision-makers for failing to give me the award. I can still picture myself sitting in the auditorium as the name of the other candidate was called. I was not happy!
- I applied to a law school immediately after completing my undergraduate studies, and I was not accepted. While my GPA was strong, the LSAT score was below expectations. In this case, I was upset with the law school selection team, and I was even more angered that standardized exams can be used to exclude law school candidates. From my stance, my low score on the LSAT had nothing to do with my potential to succeed as a lawyer.
As you can see here, I am venting! I am still quite upset about these situations!
Over time, I have been able to deal with this baggage in a better way. The more I am involved with positive people, such as with my brothers and sisters from church, the better I can cope with situations where I am powerless.
I need to embrace what is good in my life and not worry about what I cannot control.
Romans 12:21 states, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
This is a beautiful and encouraging scripture.
There is nothing good I can gain by staying upset about past experiences. It does not matter that people were unjust with me. The bottom line is I must focus on the good that I CAN do moving forward.
In summary, it’s imperative I understand that others might be lazy, fail to do their part, and even bypass me for an award.
It’s far better for me to focus on the good things that life has to offer.
It’s time to get rid of the baggage!