Bag Lady, you going to hurt your damn back, carrying all these bags put ‘em down!
Erykah Badu’s lyrics to her famous song Bag Lady went something like that. These lyrics have been resonating with my spirit. I’ve come to realize that carrying baggage is why life seems so heavy. To help me reveal some of the baggage I have been writing down things that I have to release in order to return back to an easy life:
Everyone’s emergency is not my emergency.
I am not God. I am a Christian.
You cannot help people who do not want your help or do not think they need help.
Learning to discern the difference between an assignment and assassination.
Understanding that I do not have to change parts of me in order to keep the peace.
Pay attention to patterns and not empty promises.
Embracing that I am a giver while simultaneously disconnecting from takers who have no intention of reciprocating with the same urgency as they take.
Casting ALL my cares (baggage) at the Lord's feet for He cares for me and will come to see about every last one of my needs and wants.
Clearing the landing strip to my heart by removing the emotional, mental and spiritual baggage of others I have accumulated so my blessings have a clear pathway to land.
Reassigning connections that take without properly replenishing.
No longer collecting everyone else's issues and making them priority over my own.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change but I am changing the things I cannot accept” Angel Davis.
I have a tendency to practice an unhealthy lifestyle when it comes to interacting with the people I love. I connect what I can do for someone as a measurement of love, because I am a giver. Now this works perfectly for people who are good at reciprocating. But I realize that I often overcompensate with loving actions to show people how I would like to be treated. Growing up in the church I was taught that you treat people how you want to be treated, “So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets” Matthew 7:12. They also preached that when they mistreat you, you are supposed to turn the other cheek, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” Matthew 5: 38 NIV. It wasn’t until my adulthood that I realized that adults left out some key scriptures. They left out the fact that Jesus wept (John 11:35), he flipped tables over in a church (Matthew 21:12-13) anddddddddd he told you to dust your feet off and walk away when people do not value what you have to stay (Matthew 10:14). Now Jesus did not return the bad energy he received from the people who disliked Him even though He could have. How he handles situations that lacked reciprocation, mistreatment, and unjust action is by disconnecting from those people and continuing to do good in other places.
Below are a few questions to ask yourself and the people around you to help you work, unpack and organize your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical life. These questions will help you to identify what needs to stay, what needs to be released and what needs to be returned. Think of this as Spring Cleaning for your Soul.
Address your childhood traumas?
You come to peace with past failed relationships?
Do you truly exemplify what and who you say you are?
Do you know what your triggers are?
Are you able to work through conflict without allowing your triggers to ignite an emotional response?
Do you uphold the standards, morals, characteristics, qualities etc. that you require the people around you to have?
Taking time out to learn who you are as an individual?
Ask the people in your life the following questions. Let them answer freely with minimal interruption:
How do you experience me?
Do I exemplify what I preach?
Does how I view myself align with how I treat you?
This is a good exercise to help you hear about how you and your actions are being perceived. This will also help you to consider if you have placed the person in the correct place in your life. How people experience you will help you decipher if you are operating how you say you want to operate.