Are You Carrying Too Much Emotional Baggage? {Imperfect Moms Day 17}

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On a recent trip to a conference in Boise, Idaho I realized that I had once again fallen into a repeated bad habit. I had packed too many clothes. I knew when I zipped up the piece that I wouldn’t wear half of what I packed (and I didn’t). To compound my frustrations, I later discovered the carry on piece–that I’ve used numerous times before–must have been measured using a faulty tape measure. It didn’t make the cut this time. I had to check my baggage. I had two problems.

Too many clothes and baggage that was too large.

Mind you, the clothes weren’t really the problem, except it personally bothered me that I had overpacked. But, the luggage issue was really one of those instances where I was claiming “But, I’ve used this piece numerous times before. However, there is no reasoning with a gate agent.

They have power!

I couldn’t chop off the luggage to make it fit so I had to just bear the burden and expense of a last minute baggage check. However, it fueled a desire within to get it right the next time.

The entire ordeal had me thinking about the emotional baggage that I’ve been prone to carry–too much and/or the wrong size baggage. I’ll be the first to admit to myself that I’m not perfect. I try not to portray myself in person or in the blogosphere as being perfect either which is why I probably share too much information sometimes. But, when it comes to misery, there is comfort in company, right?

First, let’s take a look at “Too Much Baggage.”

Dearest, no one lives free from all problems, pain, hurdles, or issues. No not one. However, our precious Lord is ready to not only protect you from lasting harm but he can use those unsettling times to equip and strengthen you for the next curve or bend in your life’s road What about the baggage of worry? Do you wonder if you are prone to worry too much? Read through this little list and see if you can answer yes to any of this short list of symptoms of excessive worry:

  • Tired and tight muscles
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Grinding teeth
  • Problems sleeping soundly
  • Twitching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stress and tension
  • Jumpy and easily startled
  • Headaches

The list is overwhelming isn’t it? The first time I read through that list about 3 years ago, I was having all of them multiple days in a row. (Did I mention I was a wreck a few years ago?) However, I did find solutions and help.

My first help came from the Lord.

I had to draw nearer and closer to him. I was stressed out, wiped out, give out and bottom line – an out and out mess. I had my brave face on in public and at church. Not many people truly knew except my husband and a couple of others how stressed out I really was.

I found help in praying and asking Jesus to relieve my burdens and hand them over to Him. I know, it’s easier said than done. I have a tendency to give it Him, and then turn around and take it right back from him.

My favorite and most used scripture was (and still is) Philippians 4:6-7

“Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Peace of God shall keep your hearts and mindsClick To Tweet

I applied my Duck Theology.  Just like how water rolls off of a duck’s back, I began rolling burdens to Christ. It was almost  comical how quickly anything that started to ‘burden’ my mind I was reaching to Christ to help me. From clothing decisions to huge work decisions. I figured if he could help with the big things I was going to let him help with the small things as well so that my mind could get some rest!

The next thing I did look at make sure I was carrying the “Right Size Baggage.”

Contrary to popular belief, baggage is not one size fits all like some pantyhose.

It’s an exercise I now use when I mentor other women about “refeathering the nest of their mind.”

It involves clearly defining your life’s core values (what’s truly important to you) by defining what and where you should be concentrating your attentions, your baggage.

Having the list written down truly helped me to start eliminating those things in my life which weren’t edifying my spirit. You will have cares and concerns in life, so it’s best that it be those that work towards your good and your goals. Learning about this process of clearly defining my personal values started me down the correct path of reducing some worries and eliminating some stresses.

Edify your spirit. Think about only what you need to think about Click To Tweet

Is everything perfect now?

No more worries? Uhm, NO, I’m not dead yet and I know I won’t have a life free from all worries and cares until I cross to the other side of Jordan’s River! But, I have much better understanding about my emotional baggage and know when adjust the weight, make some changes or just let it go!

P.S. I have a new piece of approved and authorized carry-on luggage too!

Kim SteadmanAbout the Author:
Kim Steadman is the chief curator of TheReFeatheredNest.com where moms can find encouragement to repurpose and redesign their life after the kids fly the coop. She is the author of the soon to be released book “My Little Book of Empty Nest Quotes & Wisdom.” Find her on Facebook, Twitter & Youtube.

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