Leave it Behind
Have you ever woken up from a dream that was so clear and obvious, you knew you had received an important message from your Higher Self?
I had been studying the Law of Attraction for several years, but was frustrated because I was still lonely and depressed. Then one night I had a poignant dream about emotional baggage (some call it cargo, the anti-thema to romance).
I was traveling with a friend on a train. The train stopped abruptly and we were told by a shadowy deep voice to collect our baggage and board the next train. The station attendant was throwing passenger bags onto the waiting platform while people scurried around picking up their belongings. The next train started blowing its whistle and I got scared because I realized that most of the bags on the platform were mine. There were black bags, white bags, brown bags, mesh bags, torn bags, leather bags, plastic bags, new bags, old bags, patched bags—you get my point.
I knew I couldn’t possibly get them all in time, but I kept trying because I was afraid to leave any behind. I looked around for my friend to help, but he was calling to me from the back of the other train yelling something about being left behind if I didn’t leave my baggage behind.
I was confused by what he was saying, and then the train pulled away. I realized what he had been trying to tell me when I was indeed left behind with my baggage.
What an exhausting but exacting dream!
When I woke up, I knew I had received an important message—either leave it behind or be left behind.
Why We Carry Baggage
It’s hard to let go of our past. Good or bad, it’s part of who we think we are. We’ve invested a lot of time and energy in our baggage and gone to a lot of trouble to keep it with us. Some people tell others about it hoping to earn their attention, gain their sympathy, and perhaps respect for our efforts. Some of us feel virtuous when we carry it around because it makes us feel like responsible adults. A lot of people carry it as a way to pay penance for their mistakes.
The truth is that baggage is none of these things. In terms of the Law of Attraction, baggage is a heavy vibration that wastes our energy and weighs us down. Holding onto our past, regardless of whether we did something to someone or someone did something to us, emotional baggage increases our inertia and slows our momentum.
When we cling to our baggage, we feel guilt and regret, disappointment, resentment, jealousy, fear, and anger. We believe that something must be wrong with us so we hide our true selves from the people we interact with and measure ourselves against. When we think they’ve seen our flaws we feel worse. We criticize and punish ourselves because that kind of thinking keeps our energy vibrating at a level that attracts more of the same. Holding onto baggage is a form of self sabotage regardless of how it got there.
The Problem with Baggage
Don’t get me wrong. It’s natural to feel angry when you feel invalidated. But carrying negative emotions with you wherever you go, no matter how cleverly repressed or disguised, will slow you down and trip you up when you most need to move forward.
The problem is that we are afraid of what will happen if we stop carrying our baggage around. We’ve been conditioned to feel bad when we make mistakes or hurt someone. It doesn’t matter if it was an accident or if we meant to do it, our society finds a lack of remorse unacceptable. Forgiveness is acceptable after apologies have been made or the sentence has been served. This makes sense in terms of public well being.
But on a personal level, few of us have been taught how important it is to forgive ourselves. No matter how sorry we are or how much supplication we’ve offered, we don’t know that we have the authority to grant ourselves pardons by virtue of who we really are. We block the good stuff we could be bringing into the world, for ourselves and others, with old painful baggage that offers no benefit to us or anyone else. No wonder anti-depressants are the most prescribed drug in western societies!
Stepping Back a Bit
Self judgment is a human thing. It’s nothing more than a system of self-imposed limiting beliefs taught to you by those who judged themselves as unworthy. Your Higher Self does not judge you or impose limitations because your Human Self is the part of God that is out here walking on the wild side. You are the one in the field calling the plays, taking the shots, and scoring the goals.
Your Higher Self knows that everything you do is an attempt to feel better on some level and so it does not judge you or who you are being as good or bad. It exists outside of human space-time reality. It loves you beyond measure, and appreciates what YOU are doing to expand The Universe.
And while it may be hard to accept, it is our Human Self who decides what anything means. We judge ourselves and others according to our own definition of what we want and expect to be. Good, bad, right, wrong, desirable, undesirable, are the value judgments we assign individually and en masse to impose order on the conditions in which we find ourselves—until we remember who we really are.
That’s when we become conscious creators. That’s when value judgment becomes a simple assessment: is this person, place, event, etc. shifting my energy toward or away from what I want? Even then we stumble and bang our heads and step forward and backward until we get the hang of it.
An interesting thing about humans is that we have a penchant for carrying baggage for others, especially when we are children. If bags are given to us by the adults we depend on for survival, we pick them up and call them our own.
I was the perfect example. As a young adolescent, my stepfather, a high school principal, used to criticize everything I said and did. I wasn’t worth a damn nickel and would never amount to a hill of beans. Whenever my mother defended me, he pushed her around and tore things up around the house. Both were heavy drinkers and the shouting and crying would sometimes go on through the night.
As a teenager, I started fighting back. I was banished to my room whenever my stepfather was home just to keep the peace. After he went to bed at night, I would sneak downstairs to get my supper. To go out with my boyfriend (with Mom’s permission), I would climb out my second-story window and walk down the street to meet him. This was the only way to avoid a session of my stepfather’s arrow slinging.
I carried this baggage during my adult life. I continued to criticize everything about myself and banished myself to my room when I wasn’t required to be social. I didn’t feel virtuous doing this, I just didn’t know how else to be.
Sad story, but the kicker is that it wasn’t until my closest friend suggested that my stepfather had been sexually attracted to me. She suggested that his constant criticism was his way of maintaining his distance. Talk about carrying someone else’s baggage!
All that criticism wasn’t about me, it was about him. Of course I knew that I wasn’t stupid and lazy as he said I was, but my young subconscious mind was programmed to believe what my authorities told me. Understanding his problem gave me the perspective I needed to put those bags down and leave it behind.
Murphy’s Law was Written by a Baggage Carrier
Baggage wears you out and can turn a perfectly nice person into “an accident waiting to happen.” I knew a young woman tripped over her own baggage so often she came to believe that if something could go wrong for her, it would. She was always in the middle of a drama/crisis.
She was a sweet, beautiful woman who saw herself as a victim. Because of her victim energy, she attracted new boyfriends who at first seemed to enjoy rescuing her from her old boyfriends, but unfortunately these men also had control issues and short tempers. She would make fear-based decisions on the one hand to protect herself, then do things that ensured these men would get upset and give her something to be afraid about.
Being loved and well treated didn’t match her core beliefs about herself. When she attracted a truly nice guy, she would grow bored and distracted. For whatever reason, she believed she deserved to be mistreated, so she denied her part in the consequences she suffered. This woman was a great teacher for me because she perfectly illustrated how our beliefs, which drive our thoughts, behaviors, and expectations, create our fortune or misfortune.
Courage is Power
Every time you put down a bag—let go of a self-limiting belief—you release a tremendous drain on your energy. If you aren’t sure what your beliefs are, observe your choices and behaviors. Listen to your thoughts as you sit in traffic or do the dishes. When you feel irritated, upset, ashamed, or disappointed, pay attention to the thoughts that cause these feeling to come over you.
When you start defending yourself or justifying your behavior, or feel like yelling “shut up” even to the voice inside your head, ask yourself what your beliefs are so attached to that you are forgetting who you really are?
It helps to think about the energy dynamics of the situation rather than what “he said” “she said.” Sure, she was being a bitch, he was acting like a jerk, that driver cut you off, you drank too much again, etc. None of that matters because it was just who she, he, you were being in a time-space reality world of changing conditions. It’s not who she, he, or you really are.
It comes down to having the courage to choose.
Would you rather feel:
guilty, stupid, anxious, lazy, regret,
worthless, depressed, addicted, ashamed, rejected,
relaxed, confident, eager, grateful, optimistic,
enthusiastic, peaceful, joyful, appreciated, loved?
Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy? Do you need your pain? Or do you need hope?
Every thought you think attracts more of the same. The Law of Attraction is absolute in its exactness. What you focus on is your choice and your responsibility, regardless of what happened to you in your past, what is happening right now, what will happen in your future. It's up to you because only you can choose your own thoughts!
No matter what happened or who said what, if you want to attract the life you desire, you have to put down the bags and reach for your Higher Self, who wants you to be, do, and have whatever makes you happy.
What you do points to your beliefs. If you keep doing things that lead away from your desires, ask yourself if you need to do some forgiving. It’s a powerful way to shift your energy because it deactivates a limiting subconscious belief. It doesn’t invalidate you or let someone else off the hook. Think of it as a practical technique that helps you raise your vibration and increase your momentum. Forgiveness is permission to leave your baggage behind.
Forgiveness helps you recover the strength you need to focus on what you want. Remember, you can only attract what you believe you deserve! As you move through this process, imagine what it will be like when the energy you’re using now to carry your bags becomes available to carry you toward the things you really want in life! What will you do? Where will you go? Who will be with you?
What you attract depends on the quality of your thoughts. But you can’t pay attention to your thoughts all the time any more than you can consciously regulate your breathing for more than a few minutes. That’s why how you feel is such a valuable indicator of when you need to pay attention.
WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD, YOU ARE MOVING TOWARD YOUR DESIRES.
WHEN YOU FEEL BAD, IT’S TIME TO LEAVE YOUR BAGGAGE BEHIND.
You are a deliberate creator who gets to choose what things mean and what you want. Remember who you are and put the bags down. Reach for the good stuff instead of worn leather handles!