Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Baggage Looks Better Than Your Baggage

One lovely summer evening I was chatting with someone about hurt feelings they were experiencing with a mutual friend. I was trying explain how each of them came to the table with their own set of baggage. If there is unknown, or worse yet, ignored emotional land mines in a relationship, it can prove to be explosive.

It got me thinking though... Everybody comes into a relationship with baggage. Whether it's romantic, friendship, work, religious groups. Heck, we're born into baggage. Our DNA is intertwined with both maternal and paternal flaws and hiccups. If we happen to pro-create, we just add to the mix... Discovering what your baggage is, can be both tricky and sometimes an extremely painful process. There's not a huge learning curve, and rocky relationships can only seem to minimize the arch. 

As I've gotten older, I've recognized (or been told :) some of the crap I carry around. Some months I gain baggage at an alarmingly high rate... I've also gotten pretty decent at 'announcing' it. This blog serves as a show and tell sometimes. Airing out insecurities can be both healing for myself, and sometimes for other readers. It's good to not feel so alone... However, here's the weird part- as good as I've gotten about telling other people about my flaws, I still go into relationships assuming they're not coming with any baggage of their own. And on my worst days, sorta just marching in with all of my luggage, dumping it on the ground and saying, "Here's all of my stuff. Take me or leave me, but you're gonna have to deal with it." Never really considering that their wounds and emotional scars might come along for the ride.

Over the last few months, it's become increasingly apparent to me that the closer I grow to people, the longer I'm in friendships, the deeper I dig into relationships, the more baggage I start bumping into. I can only be in a close-knit room or group for awhile until each piece of my baggage starts bumping into the other person's. So then I'm left with the choice - do I throw my belongings down and have a hissy fit or do I apologize and have grace and walk more carefully because I love (or am called to love) the other person?