How Many Suitcases Are You Carrying?

How many suitcases are you carrying?
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We’re all carrying at least one suitcase with us, day in, day out. It’s our baggage. It’s full of our own personal issues; lies, denial, delusions, past wrongs, blame, hope for the future.

You would think denial would be a suitcase that comes up empty. Not true. It’s one that feels deceptively light but when you open it there’s something growing in the corner. Unease.

Lies. They’re there, too. Lies we tell ourselves, lies people tell us. People we trusted…

Delusions are those ideas we carry around about other people, our circumstances. They’re going to get better, for example. But they’re not going to get better without you making any changes.

Past wrongs are always in our baggage. I know we hear much ado abut forgiveness and as I wrote in my book, forgiveness may be over sold. Some trespasses do not deserve forgiveness but we can start by forgiving ourselves. Self forgiveness will certainly lighten the suitcase. The trick is to not dwell on these past wrongs but not to forget them either. Remember “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”? Well, if you block out and completely forget past wrongs how will you ensure you don’t get fooled twice or more?

On the other hand, do you have more than one suitcase? Could you label your second suitcase with one person’s name? If so, is it your baggage to carry? Perhaps you can let that go and understand it belongs to someone else.

Blame…I like to look outward instead of inward. It’s easier. However, there are always two sides and yours is one of them. Blaming others or blaming yourself is equally weighty and destructive.  Know when to stop the blame game, accept the situation for what it is, then move on to change it. Make it better. Take action. This will move you away from blame and onto better things.

Hope for the future is usually a good thing to carry around. It’s the kind of baggage that should travel light and when you open it, a ray of sunshine lights your face. Never give up hope. Keep that with you. In this case, the bigger the suitcase, the better. Again though, temper hope for the future with realistic expectations. You don’t want to start this process all over again because of broken dreams. Set your sights high but not so high that you can’t reach them.

We’re only human. Don’t place blame on those closest to you. Don’t self blame either. You can see how this becomes a balancing act worthy of a Circque du Soleil artist. Carry your suitcases, but be aware of what’s in them. Know that you can lighten the load. We all have baggage. We’re only human, after all.

This post was inspired by this song by Rag’n Bone Man.

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26 Replies to “How Many Suitcases Are You Carrying?”

  1. Oh I love this song so much! It’s on my spotify. I’ve never seen the video – paired with it, makes it so much more powerful.
    This post is so eloquent and very introspective Lisa – for me these lines/suitcases often blur. What is self and what is others. I think a lot of it has to do with what my current state of mental health is. I’d like to think that I’m getting better at recognizing things but it’s hit or miss – and I’m so eternally grateful that my doctor is willing to see me more regularly to sort through this 🙂
    Adore this post Lisa.
    Kimberly recently posted…Skipping StonesMy Profile

    1. It’s a powerful song and I just love that singer. He reminds me of someone…not sure who 😀 I think the blurred lines of our own baggage vs. someone else’s (that we might carry) is an ongoing process of trying to balance. Self blame is destructive but so is blaming others and taking no action to remedy something. Sometimes our anger or blame is misplaced. Figuring all this out is on-going. We’re only human, after all…I’m happy you have a good doctor who can help you maintain that balance, Kim. I think we all struggle with it to some degree. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I appreciate your perspective!

  2. Hugs, Lisa, I love this post! Self-forgiveness is hard to come by. And I’ve definitely carried my share of suitcases, some known, some unknown–and I’m still working on unpacking them. The healing journey is a marathon not a race. And as I easily tell others: be gentle with you! I wish I could take that advice to heart. Some days it’s easier than others. <3 <3 <3

    1. You are so right, Jane! I find it’s easier to give advice than to accept my own words of encouragement. Thanks for sharing!

  3. So insightful Lisa! You have so rightly pointed out what all we carry around, tightly packed within ourselves, refusing to acknowledge, putting up a brave front, struggling with our emotions and challenges, never losing hope! Yes, dear friend, life is like that and nobody can dump those suitcases in one go. We have to open them one by one and discard some of the useless items because humanity happens to be so possessive, not willing to detach!
    Love this post Lisa, one of your best! 🙂
    Balroop Singh recently posted…My Experiments With HaikuMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Balroop! I love this: “We have to open them one by one and discard some of the useless items because humanity happens to be so possessive, not willing to detach!” YES.

    1. We all have it, for sure. Some of it makes us unique and even interesting but some of it weighs us down. ‘Fear’ is not a friendly suitcase to carry however it can save us. A bit of fear is important. Nice to see you, Kim! Luv U xo

  4. Such a clever way of looking at this, Lisa! And so true, we need to lessen our “baggage” and only tote around what is truly essential. Thank you for the important reminder!

  5. So agree with this and we are only human. We all make mistakes and past wrongs are often past. What defines us is how we behave and the choices that we make right now. Sure, these choices may not be the wisest, but we all don’t have the answers in this world.

    Sometimes we have to forgive ourselves in order to move on. What we’ve done is what we’ve done. What we will do will most likely show the world how far we’ve come, and we can then prove to ourselves there is so much more than we can do.
    Mabel Kwong recently posted…Why Do Australians Call Each Other “Mate”?My Profile

    1. Hi Mabel, yes. Self forgiveness is the hardest and first step to letting some of that baggage go. We can strive to avoid making the same mistakes twice. 🙂

  6. You’re absolutely right – sometimes you just can’t put them down, but you can take some of the “stuff” out of them. You’re right – we were sympatico.

  7. YES! Oh Lisa, this is sooo wise, my friend. I love how you unpacked this ‘baggage’ concept… (See what I did there? LOL)

    Such great advice. This is so important.

  8. We do all carry many suitcases with us Lisa, some good and some pushing us down.
    I decided to let go of forgivness for some time. I felt for so long that I HAD to forgive him. I can’t, not ready. I did forgive myself, it’s the first step towards a new life.
    I carry a suitcase of light and one of love. It’s great. I also carry one of low self-confidence and fear. I try to get rid of it. Not easy.
    Marie Kléber recently posted…An invaluable lessonMy Profile

    1. Hey Marie, forgiveness has to begin with self so you’ve taken that first step. Also, admitting those other suitcases, is really a step in the right direction. Mine are still hidden at the back of the closet.

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