Emotional baggage safety program

We often think of our emotional baggage as annoying problems we bring to new relationships, jobs, and activities. We forget why we have baggage and what exactly it's doing for us. We get stuck with the problems we call baggage because we don't value the partial solution we've already got working in our favor.

One way to value our baggage is to see the safety program it's conducting successfully. Once we appreciate all four facets of the program, we can stop trying to change it inconsiderately. Here's how our baggage gets its job done everyday without asking:

  1. Our baggage gives us urges to hang with our herd and feel weird when we're alone -- to avoid the dangers of vulnerability. We avoid getting picked on, singled out or persecuted if we stick to our own kind. We can appear more intimidating if we gang up together. We pose more of a threat and can overwhelm smaller gangs or loners. Together we effectively handle dangerous threats, enemies and attackers.
  2. Our baggage gives us urges to strike out on our along and feel oppressed by group pressures -- so we avoid annihilation in a herd. We evade getting captured, ambushed or discovered if we separate from the pack. We can appear harder to catch and more elusive from spies if we're on our own. We pose more of a challenge that can wear down or frustrate our assailants. On our own, we can handle dangerous hunters and hungry predators.
  3. Our baggage gives us urges to demand our fair share from a group and to go ballistic when getting ripped off. We avoid missing out on what we deserve, need and have earned by relying on the group to maintain cohesion among its members. We can get justice when everyone is in the same boat. We can ensure that others speak up for their rights and get treated fairly when depending on each other to share what's available.
  4. Our baggage gives us urges to get aggressive and go into deep despair when we lose -- to not miss out on our opportunities. We sidestep losses, failures and setback by relying on ourselves to act resourcefully. We keep our eyes and ears out for fleeting moments to pounce on a prey, seize a morsel or bag a catch. We do whatever it takes to not feel like a loser, misfit or slacker.
With a pair of positive and negative urges for each of these four safety strategies, our baggage puts out a lot of value to appreciate. The baggage responds to a wide variety of situations with different combinations of feelings, inclinations and perceptions. The complexity of this safety program makes it extremely sustainable and resilient. It's built to last and going nowhere anytime soon. All we can hope to do is expand our safety program to cover new challenges with greater resourcefulness.

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