Today we will look at baggage. We will see how we accumulate mental baggage, why we keep it, and how to let go of it. That is a large task for a five hundred word posting. It may take several posts to get through this topic.
What is this baggage?
Mental baggage consists of all those thoughts, objects, and people to whom we have become attached. It is a common misperception in our society that attachments are good.
We hear people talk about being attached to their pets, their children, their possessions, and many other things. They think it is normal. In truth, each attachment actually is very detrimental.
A short history of baggage
To go back in history a bit, the Romans used the word impedimenta to describe baggage. This was usually used to describe all the things (baggage) that Roman soldiers had to carry with them during a military campaign. Although useful and necessary, their baggage was an impediment to their ability to move quickly.
When we talk about mental baggage we are referring to the impediments that keep us from thinking clearly. I place attachments of every type in the category of baggage. If you would like to read more about attachments please go to a post we wrote about why attachments are painful.
So why do we accumulate baggage?
The primary reason that we accumulate mental baggage is that we never let go of anything. Think about it. Are you still carrying around a hurtful situation from when you were a child? Maybe it is something that happened at school. Maybe it is something that your parents did to you.
As long as you still feel hurt you have baggage. The reason that you have baggage is that you have chosen to be attached to the hurt. Think of some of the things that you “can never forgive someone for.” Those are also attachments that are very deep.
We also wrote a post about a famous film director who held on to a grudge for many years. Years after the person who had caused the supposed hurt had died, this man continued to harbor a grudge. That is definitely baggage.
We also accumulate baggage through our attachments to things and people. Please peruse the archives of this site for postings about those types of attachments. In short, we can become attached to any thought, object, or person that we choose. Those attachments become baggage.
Another unfortunate thing about baggage is that it accumulates as we get older. If we never learn to let go of our baggage it can do nothing else. It will not usually go away all by itself. That is why so many people get bitter and unhappy as they get older. They have accumulated a lifetime of impediments to clear thinking that keeps from being happy.
The good news is that we can learn to let go of the baggage at any age. Tomorrow we begin to look at how to do that.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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