“…one day all them bags gone get in your way…so pack light” ~E. Badu
15 years ago I heard a song with a simple beat, meaningful lyrics and a message that will stay with me forever. Listening to a neo-soul playlist recently, I heard that song again and was reminded why I love the song “Bag Lady” by Erykah Badu. (If you haven’t heard it, check it out on YouTube). This was one of the first songs that made me realize I can’t carry everything with me. I have to let go of some people, things, and life events. As Erykah reminds us carrying around all of those bags can hurt your back, get in your way, and make you miss your bus! While all of these things are true, the meaning is deeper than that. Here are a few reminders why we must “pack light”:
Reliving the past, keeps us there.
Life happens. Healing or forgiving on doesn’t happen overnight, but healing has to happen at some point. If we keep our failures and pain with us, we will continue to live in fear and have no chance at happiness. By no means am I saying forget the experiences you have had, just accept the past cannot be changed so there is no need to live in it. Moving on isn’t easy, but the first step is deciding to do so.
You are who you are.
Many of us worry about what we are not. We aren’t thin enough, thick enough, rich enough, smart enough, light enough, or dark enough. While some things can’t be changed, some can. Why carry insecurities about things you cannot change? Of course there is always room for improvement in some areas, but you need to accept yourself as you are and teach others to do the same. You cannot make people like you or love you, just like no one can make you like or love them. You are who you are, don’t carry the weight of trying being someone you aren’t.
It’s mentally healthy!
Holding on to hurtful situations, and trying to conform to what others want us to be is stressful. Life is stressful enough managing from day to day and balancing all of our roles and responsibilities. Worrying about things we cannot not change, won’t help us through a long day. Hoping that you gain the approval of others, by changing who you are, can ruin your self-esteem. Guilt, fear of rejection, and not trusting our instincts adds to our stress load. A healthy mind needs to have room to deal with the “new stress”; “old stress” is just taking up valuable space.
The moral of the story, LET SOME SHI*T GO!!
Feministas, do you agree we need to “pack light?” How have you been able to let go of things, people and events?
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