Letting Things Go

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very true.

I recently pinned this quote to my Pinterest board because I thought it was so simple yet complex.   I wanted to reflect and meditate upon it.  It made me think of how much we put on ourselves just because we do not let things go.  Things like envy, strife, hate, worry, guilt, and many other insecurities that lead us to carry around so much baggage.

It reminds me of a song by Eryka Badu, “Bag Lady”.  If you get a chance you should listen to the song because the lyrics can pertain to anyone.  I especially like the following verse:

     Bag lady you gone hurt your back
     Dragging all them bags like that
     I guess nobody ever told you
     All you must hold on to
     Is you, is you, is you

The song is a metaphoric.  The physical bags are a symbol of the “mental” baggage that we allow ourselves to pick up and never put down.  Although, the song is about a lady, all of us – men and woman – are guilty of carrying too many bags.  So many of us are so quick to say, “She/he has too much baggage and I can’t deal with that”.  Yet, we do not realize what we are holding onto.

It is important to realize that the baggage we carry affects us mentally and physically.  If we carry too many bags, we become immobile.  Stress can be debilitating.  How can we move on if we cannot put down the bags we are carrying and let go.  (Another song comes to mind “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen.  Yes, it’s from an animated film, but has a great message for not only kids, but adults too).

As we move through the first couple of months of this year, let’s not collect any more bags.  Instead, let us get rid of some.  Let’s forgive somebody who has wronged us.  Let’s forgive ourselves for something we have done wrong.  Let’s stop worrying about things that are out of our control.  Let’s stop comparing ourselves to someone else.  Let’s stop walking on eggshells worried that we are going to offend someone. It amazes me at how much people hide of themselves so they will not offend someone else.  When most of the time you are just sharing your opinion or stating the truth.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying just go out and be rude to everyone by saying whatever comes to mind – because, I am also a believer of the old adage, “If you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  However, what I am saying is if you just focus on you and what you are able to control in your life, then those bags will disappear.

Don’t let things get so heavy and complicated that you get buried and lose yourself.  There’s no one like you and it would be such a waste to lose you because of some old baggage.  Let it go!

The Vulnerability Veil

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I often think about how much of my true self I should let others see.  Should I share my real thoughts, my honest thoughts?  Will people like them or even understand them?  Do I want them to know who I really am?  Would they really like me, if they got to know the “real” me?

I believe these questions run through people’s minds every day.  I think most people want to be accepted.  Yet they do not want to expose themselves for fear of being rejected.  It is scary to put one’s self out there and abandon all inhibitions. 

However, irony comes into play because as we are trying to be accepted, we are showing less of our true self.  We become insecure.  To mask our fear we become the funny one, the perfectionist, the yes man or woman and unfortunately sometimes the bully.  We seek out in others what we lack in ourselves – meaning the imperfect one portrays the perfectionist, the insecure one plays the bully, etc.  It is easier to put the focus on someone’s failures, bad habits, fear, and weakness then to address our own by calling attention to ourselves.  It is easy to gossip about what so and so is wearing (or not wearing) or what she is doing than to admit we have the same or similar issue.

Yet if we just open up we can learn that from failures, come success – that from adversity, comes character – that from openness, comes creativity.  So many people think that if they wear the right clothes, or drive the right car or have enough money, they will be seen.  They will be accepted.  However, what would they be seeing? 

In order to be seen, you have to put yourself out there.  You have to be vulnerable.  I heard someone once say that vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage.  Now that does not automatically mean that everyone gets the right to  know your intimate thoughts and beliefs.  I am not saying be naive.  People have to earn your trust and the right to know your story – to know you. 

The dictionary defines vulnerability as susceptible to physical or emotional injury.  Yet it is required to gain insight to your emotional self.  Many call vulnerability a weakness, but as an optimist, I call it strength.  Reason being, it is more difficult to expose yourself to others’ judgment than it is to accept their judgment of you.  To know your true self and be comfortable with it is more valuable than what anyone else thinks of you.  Lift up the veil from vulnerability so the world can meet the real you!