In one way or another we all have emotional baggage. This baggage we carry with us is made up of experiences or beliefs from our past. More than just ideas or memories, they are intertwined with our identity.
In order to step out of the past and live our best life where we currently are, it becomes necessary to recognize the paradoxical and co-dependent relationship we have created with our emotional baggage. On one end we utilize it as a security blanket, which we cling to for support in times of distress. We have also been known to wear our baggage as a badge of honor, using it to validate who we believe we are.
At the same time most of us would agree our baggage is a tremendous burden, being that it serves as a catalyst for a great majority of our stress. With that in mind, knowing the enormous strain our baggage has on us, why do we fight so hard to keep it?
Be it after New Year’s, with our resolutions, spring clinging when we de-clutter our home or work space, or in specific areas of our life such as physical, financial, romantic, all of us let go of aspects of our baggage during different phases of our life.
The relief that comes with letting go of what no longer serves us is unmistakable. We feel lighter, happier and filled with a renewed sense of being. But what about letting go of all the baggage? Can we imagine what this would do for our life and those around us?
Perhaps the struggle we have of letting it go entirely is that we are so used to the emotions and feelings this baggage produces that not having it feels like certain death. Whether we like the experiences our personal baggage brings into our lives or not, we hold onto it because letting go means we strip ourselves of our identity and thus, we step into the unknown.
The unknown is the very moment we’re afraid to being conscious of. It is what I call, the now of nows. What this means is that if we refuse to let go of the baggage we carry from one now moment to the next, we are in essence allowing our past to hold us back from living our best life in the only moment that counts…right now.
There are many nows in our life, ranging from the countless nows we experienced in the past, to the nows we dream of in the future. There is, however, only one now, and it’s this very moment.
So what happens to our old identity when we let go of the baggage we used to believe protected us and made us who we are? Eckhart Tolle addressed this when he wrote that, “You are the now. That is your essential identity, the only thing that never changes. Life is always now.”
Within each of us is the creative power to clear whatever baggage we are still carrying and step into the roles we were born to play. We are younger and happier now than in any of the days that follow, because right now…this is it. We have no other moment to live our best life than the one we’re in right now.