Baggage, Spring Cleaning & Balance

After posting about showing up when you do not feel like it, I did not post last week. Life is about
balance. Some days you have to dig deep and show up when you would rather not and some days you need to listen to your body/ soul and do what it needs. Last week I needed a break. It has been an emotional rollercoaster the past month and I feel like I handled it relatively well. But leading up to last Tuesday, a few things happened simultaneously. My phone stopped working. I had a migraine Monday night that had me bedridden. And overall, I just felt spread thin with everything I needed to do. I was going to push to post but then decided not to. And I am glad that I did take a break because by Friday had a 24 hour bug and was miserable. Thankfully there were some aha moments in between.

Bag lady by Erykah Badu was playing and it made me think of the emotional baggage we carry. Our past experiences have taught us certain things and we carry them with us. If we are lucky enough to process some of those experiences, we are able to let them go. But what happens when we are lugging around bags of things that do not serve us? It slows us down, it gets crowded, and we may lose out on other valuable lessons because we have no space. Ideally we want to travel light. Unpacking emotional baggage can be even more chaotic than spring cleaning. You know those times when you are rearranging and you look around and wonder what you got yourself into. Cleaning up is necessary because you realize all of the things you no longer use and can either donate or trash it. Some of our behaviors we hold on to because they protected us in the past but if we take a good look at our lives now, those behaviors are not necessary. Getting rid of the excess baggage lightens our weight and makes space for something new.

A lot of us are praying for things we have not made room for.

Clutter can also negatively impact our moods. Imagine coming home after a busy day and walking into a dirty home. It feels like a weight is dropped on your shoulders. From another standpoint, when we are feeling down, we tend to let the clutter build up a bit. Instead of putting the clothes away the same day, we may leave them an extra day. When you are already feeling bad, it can be tough to do the thing you should. Cameron mentioned once in a short clip for The Alternative that sometimes when we sin, we turn from God instead of going to Him. I think we make a mistake and then we feel bad about it and beat ourselves up. And instead of going to God because we are ashamed for whatever reason, we just let it sit there and then we feel down, we make another bad decision and the “clutter” piles up. If we were to start cleaning up, we would realize that firstly, it is not as big of a mess as we thought and secondly, removing what does not need to be there actually lightens the load on our shoulders. God is patient and understanding, there is no deadline to clean up the mess but the faster you do it, the more time you will spend feeling free.

The thing with baggage and clutter is that sometimes it is easier to notice other people’s stuff but not our own. We all have baggage and we all have some dirt. Sometimes focusing on someone else’s dirt allows us to forget about our mess for a while. The thing is we need to remove the log out of our own eyes before we can talk about the speck in others. (Matthew 7: 3-5) This is also why we should be more considerate. We know how quickly things can progress and we know how it feels not to want to do what is right so when we see someone else struggling, we should encourage them to keep going rather than judge them for struggling. We could always find ourselves in their shoes. So let us be kind to one another and offer a hand where we can, knowing that everything we send out, returns to us.

This week remember to take stock of your baggage and begin spring cleaning. If you have cleaned up then be sure to help someone else who may need it. Have an amazing week and as always, you got this!

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