Friday morning, I packed a bag of clothes from a past lover. These items were given to me, but per his request for a return of favorite shorts, I decided to give back everything. For years I’ve held on to gifts and pieces of clothing from past relationships, but for the first time ever, I’m ready to clear my space and let go.
Releasing has been a common theme over the last couple years, so much so that when I hear Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady,” the words touch my spirit. In conscious and unconscious ways, I’ve been carrying unnecessary weight. Sometimes the weight is mental, other times it’s physical and emotional. The loads we carry look different, but letting go is essential to everyone's growth. Badu’s lyrics are the lessons for this week’s blog.
“All you must hold on to is you.”
As long as I’ve been listening to this song, I’ve never soaked in this line. Since 2016, the transitions in my life have consequentially removed people, situations, and security I thought I couldn’t live without. I fought to hold on to everything and everyone, but the less energy I spent fighting, chasing, and explaining, the more time I had to focus on me.
When we remove the noise and chaos, life is actually quite simple. We learn to redirect our energy toward ourselves. Doing this through alone time, therapy, reading, and online sermons, helped me gain clarity on what’s important. I have peace, and I'm more conscious of when I’m expending energy worrying about factors beyond my locus of control. We have so much more power when we focus on igniting what’s inside of us. Peace is the best guide for this.
“One day all them bags gonna get in your way.”
We block our blessings by taking up space with baggage we won’t release. I’m often hesitant to cut off people who are no longer good for me not realizing that my attachment to them creates problems for potential relationships and opportunities. Not only are they physically in the way, they also take up emotional and mental space. I spend hours confused, frustrated, or trying to make sense of interactions that don’t click. Essentially, I’m wasting time and stunting my growth.
From love to business, my connection with people beyond their season in my life has stifled me. When we hold on to people outside of season, they block our blessings in ways we can’t always see. The effects are costly.
“Bet ya love can make it better.”
Love is at the root of everything. When we sit with ourselves and let go of the baggage, we learn to love where and who we are. This is a process. It took me several therapy sessions, podcasts, sermons, and sister circles to work through my baggage. Learning to love myself has made me less tolerant of people and situations that don't pour into me fruitfully. My need for outside affirmation has been replaced with internal peace.
There’s a quote that says the more you’re in love with your decisions, the less you need other people to like them. This has been true for all of the biggest decisions of my life.
Life is a journey. The key to walking boldly in your lane is loving yourself, finding peace, and releasing everything else. Beyond this, it’s not your load to carry. Return the bags. Pack light.