When we first realize we've got some emotional baggage, we make a thing of it. It's a thing that interferes with our composure, plans, commitments, reputation, progress, accomplishments and much more. Baggage is the thing that gives us an awful feeling, puts us on shaky ground, embarrasses us in front of others and makes us dread the future. There's no question it's a real thing to be taken literally and dealt with as it appears.
With more experience, familiarity and repetition, we realize our baggage exhibits routine procedures. We come to eventually "know the drill". We perceive what provokes it to take over control of our conduct, emotions and perceptions. We see how it follows a sequence of reactions that succeed at it's unwelcome intentions every time. We identify our baggage as a process that occurs rather than merely a thing that troubles us.
As we acquire even more awareness of our baggage, we realize it's functionality is a result of what's missing. It's really not a thing or a process, but an absence. It's what happens in our experience when we have yet to fully develop the thing and the process into valuable narratives. Here's some of what's overlooked that then gives us "baggage experiences":
- the important purpose to us of being in the situation
- the particular meaning for us of the changes occurring out of our control
- the significant lesson for us in what is undesirable about the situation
- the deepening of the relationship with the person who appears to have upset us
- the broader understanding of the reciprocal dynamics between the people involved
- the openness to creative possibilities within the imposing limitations
- the release of past history and habitual reactions to the latest opportunities
As we gain practice at identifying what's exactly missing that induces "baggage experiences", we welcome the experiences to develop what's needed. We gain easy access to all that is called for when a baggage episode unfolds. We equate baggage experiences with all experiences. We take the bad with the good. Those experiences are simply something that happens to us, with us and for us.