“As long as you make an identity for yourself out of pain, you cannot become free of it. - Eckhart Tolle
Right now, you know someone going through life coping with the baggage of their affliction from childhood.
Studies have shown that the subconscious mind is most impressionable between the ages of one and seven.
For many, that is when the most devastating events occur in our lives.
Being abused, losing a parent, witnessing violence, and the like.
Unbeknownst to us, these events leave a lasting impression on our psyche and are carried over into adulthood.
They dictate our decisions, spouses, careers, and lifestyles.
We either create lives far away from the pain and tragedy, or we create lives that look and feel identical to the environments we grew up in.
Have you ever found it striking that the most successful people, as defined by American cultural values, come from impoverished and rough upbringings?
It’s used as fear to propel them out of their current situation and, to never want to experience the ills of poverty ever again.
It serves as a mechanism to drive them beyond their circumstances. But this can also be a double-edged sword.
The things we once resented soon become the things we represent.
Entrenched in the hustle to do more and be more, we lose ourselves in our work at the expense of our families, relationships, purpose, and health.
The opposite is true for those who don’t have the strength or optimism to parlay their experiences as a catalyst for a better life.
Dad was an alcoholic, so I must be one too.
I was meant to be poor because we never had anything growing up.
No one in my family ever got an education. We’re blue-collar, and that’s our heritage, so that’s the only life for me.
Whatever we choose to believe becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we create our future in real-time on-demand.
It takes a certain level of awareness to spot.
Most of the lies come from the thoughts in your head. They never seem to go away and serve as constant reminders to judge and critique every inch of your life.
It’s like a bad TV show that you can’t turn off or mute.
Feeling hopeless and like there’s no way out, you finally give up and throw in the towel. Your attitude towards life becomes one of passivity.
Whatever happens, you accept it at face value.
While the characters in either scenario don’t resemble the same person or environment, the outcomes are the same.
Attachment to the baggage becomes a cross; we all feel obliged to bear. Baggage has ruined more lives than war, poverty, and disease combined.
It’s more prevalent than you’d ever expect.
It affects every single one of the 7.6 billion people on earth.
It has been the leading cause of psychological unrest since the dawn of humanity.
Left unchecked, the baggage we cling to has the potential to stifle experience, purpose, self-reliance, non-judgment, and giving.
For more inspiration and learnings on how to live baggage-free, grab a copy of my latest book — The 7 Laws of Mindful Living on Amazon. If this struck a vibe with you, please share it with someone in your circle.
Athlete, author, podcaster, and mentor — www.vernontfoster.com