Baggage, baggage, baggage! We all have so much stuff! – emotionally, physically, spiritually. Some days we feel like we're walking around with a hundred pounds of the world on our shoulders and it's hard to move at all. We are dragged down by past memories, current issues and future struggles. We're tied down by rent payments, mortgages, and impulsive shopping habits. At the end of the day, what can we do with all this stuff?
In this article, let's try to tackle it all at the same time, because many of the principles applied to physical baggage and emotional baggage can often cross together in the ways we as human share and work with each other.
1. Hoarding personal memorabilia
Let's face it, we all have a problem with letting things go. Ever try to clean out a messy closet? Why does it take so long? You start with one box and find some old pictures. It takes 30 minutes to look at them, check the back, take digital pictures of them so you can show your aunt her old haircut from 1995, etc. Wow, what a trip down memory lane! It goes on for every box. You find old movies, journals, clothes. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that we love to cherish when it creeps up, and we have no intentions of letting those feelings go when we have them.
This is why it's so hard for us to let things go. We love comfort. We love the comforting feeling of looking at things that give us such great emotions of youth or of times past where we didn't have the present issues to worry about. This is the root of hoarding.
There's an easy solution too. If you can admit that you are suffering from a bit of hoarding, but don't want to part with your belongings, the solution is simple – disperse. Call your friends and family who are also a part of your memories and donate the memorabilia to them. They'll get a kick out of it too, and you won't have so much stuff taking up precious closet space!
2. Hoarding old things
The same goes with your old belongings that don't have the same emotional accessory. How about your old clothes, cooking wares, decorations and furniture. Dare I invite you to go look in you or your parent's garage? There might be tons of stuff there that's still good but has simply been replaced.
You would be very surprised how easy it is to donate all of your old stuff. This summer I got rid of almost 10 bags of clothes alone. Ask your friends or search on Google for a local pick up service that will pick up your stuff for you. There you go. No running around, no carrying heavy objects. The local Salvation Army or similar association undoubtedly has a pickup service in your neighbourhood. It's as easy as giving them a call and scheduling a pick up time. There are those less fortunate who are in need of your old clothes. Don't waste a second, especially if it's in the winter. Do your part.
3. Help others
We've all been through the worst – breakups, financial deprivation, loss. Life isn't always easy, but we learn how to deal with it! If you've been through some emotional situations, you know hard it is and hopefully you also know how to recover from it. You're a warrior! You know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
However, not everyone does. For the young people around you, a serious breakup could be their first experience with a failed relationship, and the effects are tolling. We all remember our first breakup, and we all remember people who helped us get through it.
For young people, a serious emotional event will always be their first one. Kids experience things with such vivid clarity because it's their first time for everything. That is what our job is as adults. We are leaders and offer guidance – or we should.
Use your experience of overcoming obstacles as fodder to help others get through theirs. It's a perfect way to take your emotional baggage and turn it into a good thing. Share the love, and everyone can end up smiling together.