Lighten Your Load
- Wednesday, May 05, 2004
I travel regularly. I have packed suitcases numerous times, but I still take too much. I don't notice it so much when someone else is carrying my bag, but if I have to haul it down the stairs to my car, or up the stairs to the hotel room, I definitely feel the weight. My goal, as I pack, is always to take just enough. But I fail regularly! This is because, as I am packing, I think, I might need this … and this … and that. You never know! Most of the time I don't need whatever it was, so it just becomes extra weight in my bag.
Of course, I can't travel without my laptop, which means I have to bring all of the plugs, attachments, and accessories. I finally got a special backpack just for my computer and all the stuff that comes with it. Great! Now I have another bag to transport. At least this one is on my back, which keeps my hands free to pull my two suitcases. This does seem to work, but I am sure I look very burdened as I make my way through the airport.
One time, after speaking at a conference in Scotland, I was going to take a few days off and see some of the country with some friends. We thought riding the train would be fun. Silly me. I had packed for a multi-day conference, which meant more than one outfit a day. Now, as I was taking my fun days, all my stuff had to come with me. My friends watched as I struggled with very big bags, up and down train platforms. Believe it or not, most of the people on the platform stopped and stared. They looked as if they had never seen anyone with that much luggage. Maybe they hadn't! I have overheard some of my international friends comment on the amount of luggage that Americans travel with. Maybe we just feel more comfortable with lots of stuff!
Another time I was traveling, my suitcases were lost. Well, they weren't lost … they went to Des Moines, and I was in Denver. Hope they enjoyed their trip! I did have my makeup and a toothbrush in my carry-on, so all was not lost. I must say that it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. A girl can go far with a clean pair of underwear and her makeup! And I am not giving up the makeup, no matter what the minimalists say! But I could learn to travel lighter.
The Crew Had a Great Idea
The ship Paul was on carried both passengers and cargo. It had stopped at different ports of call and collected varied goods. Just like those ships at different ports of call, we take on baggage throughout our journey through life. Oftentimes, we don't notice the extra stuff until a storm hits and we have to deal with the things we have dragged on board with us.
Most of us have been betrayed at one point or another in life. If we haven't dealt with it, we carry the baggage of bitterness. Some people are now on their deathbeds, complaining, bitter, unforgiving.
Sometimes, in the face of crisis, we have had to shift into survival mode; we've become overprotective of ourselves and a little distant. In an attempt to be discerning, maybe we've actually become untrusting. In trying to allow ourselves time and space to heal, we've actually become unloving and unavailable. What once helped us to survive is now the baggage that weighs us down – and it can actually sink our boats!
Have you ever been trying to endure your storms only to realize that you are fighting more than one battle? One is the storm you are trying to survive, and the other is the baggage you brought along with you. I'm talking about the trunks and carry-on bags of past hurts, insecurities, and fears.
When you are building a relationship with a new friend, you may encounter some problems that cause you to realize, Wow, she has some baggage. I don't know if this relationship can work if she doesn’t deal with those issues.
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