I send greetings to all, and to all I send greetings.
I'd like to talk about the idea/issue of "baggage." What this term has come to mean? How to recognize it and how to "pack light" as the Queen Erykah Badu puts it.
WHAT IS BAGGAGE?
It's simply emotional remains/scars/prejudices that are left on a person (male or female) after a relationship or an event. It can be small and have a small impact or heavy like the physical weight of baggage and have a long lasting effect on a person and their future relationships. Some argue, that baggage is a self-defense mechanism to ensure not getting hurt by the next relationship. I vehemently disagree. There is absolutely NO room for baggage in order for a relationship to be successful.
Baggage comes in all shapes and forms, to the point where some people don't know they have it. We're only truly cognizant of our own "baggage" when we have done introspection. This takes humility, an open mind, and truth. You need to humble yourself so you can see yourself for who you REALLY are (or have become). There is no room for pride or denial in this process; otherwise, you will not learn to know the TRUE YOU. An open mind is necessary for the new information you may reveal to yourself ABOUT yourself that you're not used to seeing. And finally, being true TO and WITH yourself is the only way to self-discovery. In this case, discovering the "baggage" if any.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE BAGGAGE?
Before I answer that, the first thing that comes to mind is "all men are dogs." If this phrase is a part of your speech at any given time, THAT'S a sign of baggage. Secondly, "baby mama drama" is not baggage unless the man allows it to be. HE has t-o-t-a-l control over that situation, or should. Ok, to answer the question: whenever you feel prejudices toward men or the man you're with: THAT'S baggage. NOT ALL MEN ARE ALIKE. Some may be SIMILAR, some may REMIND you of someone else, but they are as unique as fingerprints. They are not clones. The source of the baggage is your past experiences/relationships.
..::"but I don't want to get hurt again"::..
The source of the pain is no longer in your life. You can't blame and/or punish ManX for what ManY did. ManX has done no wrong. Even if ManX REMINDS you of ManY, he (ManX) is still NOT ManY: the source of your pain.
My personal trick is like the grade system in school. The day you walk in, you have 100%, it's up to YOU to bring it down. That's how I treat men. They have 100% of my trust and compassion until THEY mess it up...IF they chose to do so.
You can't expect a man to KNOW you've been hurt before, and it's quite unseemly to tell him. Let your past be your past. Keep your third eye open because THERE IS a fine line between not carrying "baggage" and not being naive to situations. Resilience is also key! Stay strong, be optimistic. And finally, introspection can illuminate and eliminate. Think about it...literally.
This one is just piggy-backing off the last post, in reference to puzzle pieces.
I often compare life to a puzzle. Everything we do, see, experience etc makes up the puzzle of our respective lives. Every piece in the "puzzle box" serves its purpose and makes the big picture of who/what we are: past, present and future. Furthering that, everything happens for a reason. The "creator" of the puzzle put THAT many pieces in YOUR box for you to do, see, experience etc. Also, (like fingerprints) no two people's puzzles are alike even if they were raised in the same household, born on the same day, share the same bloodline. You can see this within your closest cipher. I firmly believe in this metaphor.
Every person we meet fits into this puzzle; whether it be a life-long love or a "random" stranger on the street. Everything we experience makes up the person we are today. If we've been pampered all our lives or beaten and battered, our puzzle reflects our pieces.
Even though the "creator" of the puzzle put these pieces in our box, WE have the ability to determine whether a piece is significant or not. With that, we have to ability to create the picture that the puzzle is creating over time. Meaning we have the ability to kick some person/thing out of the main image into the "sky" part of the puzzle, where that piece is less significant and less recognizable....and vice versa.
Keep this metaphor going. I'd love to hear your perspective...
There was a point in time where I wanted to be my man's "everything." I wanted him to depend on me for everything he would need. I would pride myself in being able to BE that homie, lover, friend, girlfriend, counselor, roll-dog, advisor, psychologist, Bonnie to his Clyde etc etc. I would seek to be ALL of these out of my/our nurturing nature.
Nowadays, I have to reconsider that line of thinking.
Now, I consider it a turnoff to be a man's everything. No more "You're my world" "You're my everything" "You complete me." My reply: You, my friend, need to be complete within yourself first, as I will be the same.
A man (like a woman) has specific needs that CANNOT be fulfilled by one person. You need different interactions with different people on a regular basis to be socially balanced. Your bff and/or opposite sex friend will give you different energy, different perspective, bring a different light than your mate and vice versa. Neither is better than the other, but both are necessary for a social balance.
I would MUCH rather be a piece of the puzzle (that is his life) than then ENTIRE puzzle. Being the entire puzzle is definitely a turnoff because it's a sign of dependency. Dependency is, arguably, a sign of weakness. Dependency is for children, not for grown, mature men. I think, it's much better to be wanted rather than needed. Compliment rather than complete. I'd rather deal with a "complete" man rather than "half/incomplete" man still seeking 'wholeness.'
I say all that to say, being a man's "everything" is not all it's cracked up to be when you break it down to what is really being said. A complete woman complimenting a complete man: that's LOVE.
Weigh in on this one... Your thoughts are definitely insightful and appreciated.
Im a relentless optimist, a dreamer, a lover of my people, a vessel, a giver with no ulterior motive, a pescatarian, a truth-seeker, an observer.
I'm not the woman I was 5 yrs ago and not the woman I'll be 5yrs from now. As long as I am moving in a right direction, that's fine with me.