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.
Peace Y'al!! xoxo
"I betcha love can make it better" (love of self)
..::image courtesy of Dawn Okoro::..