Baggage as unfinished business

Our baggage gives us a job to do at a time when we're in no shape to handle it. We are typically stressed "out of our gourd" at the moment when we getting burdened with some baggage. We may be young or simply inexperienced, unfamiliar and incapable of resolving the situation at the time. From this perspective, our baggage sticks around as unfinished business. We've set the job aside for later, in hopes of becoming more resourceful down the road.

In the meantime, the job is left hanging around. We get hung up by it on occasion when we experience ugly reminders of our unfinished business. We admit to having hang-ups, but continue to procrastinate about resolving them. We hope "it won't happen again" even though it has before and will happen repeatedly. Our unfinished business insists on getting put to rest by giving us no peace of mind until it gets done.

Our unfinished business is kept in its original form until we get back to it and work on it. Here's some of the "mint condition" features of our unfinished business:
  • The issues that got defined at the time are framed, black and white pictures. There are no colors or shades of gray to soften the stark image. There's "no two ways" and "no ifs ands or buts" about those contentious issues. There's no added considerations that could change the picture frame. The mental snapshot fixates on labels, done deals and final judgments.
  • The relationships with the people involved are unforgiving. Our unfinished business yields a steady stream of attack thoughts, revenge plots and resentments. The people are imagined to be conspiring against us, out to make us look bad and poised to reject us again. There appears to be no way to finish this business since we've been finished off, set aside and locked into an endless conflict.
  • The outlook on others is devoid of compassion or empathy for their condition. We don't see their baggage, painful past history or unfinished business that haunts them. We deny we share any "matching luggage" with them. We refuse to consider them as mirrors of our own condition and object lessons to learn about ourselves. Our story excludes their viewpoint and rejects their way of seeing us. We cannot look through their eyes or walk in their moccasins while our own unfinished business remains on hold.
  • We cling to our side of the story. We cannot let go or give in to others who have wronged us, terrified us or cut us down. We insist on being right at all cost to ourselves, our happiness and our growth. We have no questions to consider, changes to work on or choices to make. We are dead set against opening our minds and changing our attitude.

When we set our mind to finishing this business, the work undoes the "mint condition" stances from our past history: The picture morphs into a movie in living color. The people are forgiven for hurting our feelings, giving us baggage and changing our lives. The lessons are learned and responsibility taken for our part in the experience. We see others with deeper understanding of what they were going through at the time. We let go of our resentments and let ourselves outgrow our past history. We experience peace of mind


  1. Sometimes a good baggage handler would be handy

  2. Especially when the person with baggage wants help in handling it :-)