I saw this on someone’s Twitter feed, I think, and I’m putting it in my own words here:

“It isn’t what’s *in* your emotional baggage that defines you, so much as how you choose to pack it.”

–Unknown

I have a fair amount of emotional baggage. I’ve had some pretty raw experiences, and I’ll readily admit that most of my suffering has been largely self-inflicted. The things I’ve done to myself are far worse than anything anyone else has ever done to me. For whatever reason, I had an “angst amplifier” installed when I was fairly young, and the littlest, most insignificant injustices (real or imagined) could set me off.

I imagine I’ve made a number of attempts to remove that bit … but like a stubborn weed, each time I think I’ve had it pulled, I’ve missed part of the root system, and it’s sprung up again. I think I have gotten better at keeping it trimmed and tidy while working out how deep the bloody thing is rooted. This quote reminds me how important it is to be mindful of one’s baggage, and to keep it tidy.

Everyone has baggage. You accumulate it through life, and I think some of it is necessary. You have your essentials — socks, shoes, pants, shirts, and trousers. You want toiletries as well (whatever you can take with you on a plane) and some reading material if you’re going to be traveling a while. The better you pack your baggage, the faster you get through bloody airport security checks.

Baggage is a fact of life. It’s possible to travel without, but you still wind up supplementing yourself with things you pick up at your destination, so it’s probably safer to travel with what you’re familiar with — it saves on time and stress when you reach your destination. Sometimes you return with more than you left with, and sometimes you come back with less. How do you choose to manage it?