Understanding Our Baggage
The first stop on this journey is Understanding Ave. In order to know where you’re going, you must know where you are and how your existence + character are being displayed. Recently, I had a conversation with my husband about defining who he is. For as long as I’ve known him, he has been chasing this ideal person that he hopes to be and not shaping, understanding and processing who he currently is. I find that a lot of us are so focused on future destinations that we haven’t even dealt with the current ‘baggage’ that we are already carrying. How are you adding more luggage to your journey without first sorting the luggage you already have? That’s not logical and we have to stop this toxic behavior. But how?
STOP #1: LEARN YOURSELF
I think that knowing who you are is so imperative to traveling on your life journey. Knowing yourself means that you understand your position in the world, what you offer to your community and how your presence adds or takes away value amongst others. You’re worth something. You’re here for a reason and it’s crucial to dive into those details before you begin traveling. You should also know who you are in Christ. God knows what your chemical makeup is better than anyone, including you. Connect with Him. Channel that energy and really connect with the real you.
STOP #2: OWN YOUR TRAUMA(S)
Be real. You know how to cover up your mess well without even a drop of evidence. You know how to slap on that smile and function even though you are damaged, broken, and lost on the inside. STOP IT! Besides it not being healthy, it’s not safe for the journey you are traveling on. Masking your traumas and hurts can cause detours along your journey. It can also cause accidents along your journey, some that you are at fault for. Detours can include bitterness, resentment, anger, failed relationships, depression, other mental health diseases, other emotional diseases, and disconnection from the Ultimate Guide, God. Bitterness can cause you from reaching your destination. Why? Because goodness and evil can’t mix. Bitterness is untamed, built up anger that has festered and grown roots in your heart. Bitterness is a gateway to resentment, anger and many other mental and emotional diseases. Accidents can include lashing out, self-inflicted incidents, severed relationships, and even isolation. When you lash out and say hurtful things to people that matter to you, you can’t take it back. I despise the saying ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me’ or whatever the saying is. THAT IS FALSE! Words hurt. Wounds heal. Words cut and once you throw it out in the atmosphere, an apology doesn’t always make it better. Saying sorry doesn’t take away the fact that you vomited hurtful words, it shows the other person that you are aware that your words or actions cut them. My words cut. I don’t have to say a single cuss word to tell someone about themselves or hurt someone’s feelings. It’s my toxic trait. I’m still growing from it and learning how my words have hurt people. I lash out when I either tell people to back off and let me cool off, when I need to get my point across in an aggressive way to be understood and sometimes it’s not even intentional. It’s a horrible trait and I am more sensitive to it now that I am aware of it.
Owning your traumas means recognizing that something has caused you to harbor hurt. Whether it was a sexual trauma, emotional trauma, unintentional trauma, or whatever situation occurred that caused you to embrace hurt. OWN IT! Process it. Pinpoint where it started. Grow. Let go. We all have trauma baggage and unfortunately that trauma was meant for our growth not for our harm. It hurt, yes, but it was intended to strengthen you and not to destroy you. The Bible says that weapons will form but they will not prosper. You’re still standing love. The trauma that was trying to destroy you didn’t succeed. Give it to God and let Him mend that hurt. Trauma has no place at your destination. It was a detour on your journey but it’s time to get back on course.
STOP #3: MASTERING THE QUIZZES FOR THE FINAL EXAM
Remember when we were in school and the teacher gave us quizzes? Sometimes even a pop quiz? Remember having to take MANY quizzes before the dreaded final exam? And remember how those quizzes were only preparation for the final exam? Well, on this journey you will face MANY quizzes. God will allow situations to occur to test you not destroy you! Those tests can come in the form of a denied mortgage application, a missed job opportunity, a failed real estate exam for the second or third time, and so on. These side roads are in place to prepare you for your destination. When you are able to maneuver through thunder storms, dry weather spells, and droughts, facing anything greater is a lot easier to handle. God equips you along the way with small ‘quizzes’ to show you what your made of and to test your stamina. These tests are also in place to test your faith. And unlike a paper test, these tests aren’t able to be rigged and you can’t cheat.
Your baggage has to be digested from within. You have to process who you are, process what triggered your trauma(s) and own your trauma(s), and be grounded in God so you can make it through the tests to reach your destination. It’s tough and the journey to a fruitful life is never a beautiful, scenic route but it’s WORTH IT! I have found that many times during my journey, I doubted myself. I doubted my ability to do the work and pass the quizzes. Why? Because I wasn't grounded in the Word of God. You have to have ALL the pieces while traveling on this life journey. You have to be self aware, trauma aware and Biblically aware. Without those pieces, you will continue to be redirected, detoured, frustrated and lost.