Yesterday was my appointment with my counsellor I see every other week. I started off by complaining about my PMS and how I was feeling hormonal (emotional) and the unfairness that two weeks of every month are ruined. Who are the lucky women that avoid PMS anyway? I shouldn’t complain though. It is not all that bad anymore. Once it was a time of pain combined with moodiness. Now it tends to be a bit of irritability and easily upset/tearful. I can handle it. Stress and poor eating make it worse so I think watching my health helps.
Anyhow, after that I brought up my decluttering/cleaning efforts at home. We looked at how I
associate the physical dirt and clutter with the family’s “dirty laundry”. My counsellor mentioned that the resentment I described feeling, as I decluttered my parent‘s old papers and whatnot, reflected how I’d been carrying some of their baggage. The clutter I was getting upset over wasn’t mine and represented their issues not mine. So we listed all of their baggage and then the stuff I had been through and it helped me see what was properly mine. In fact I had worked on all of the things I listed and they had worked on nothing so my counsellor thought that was very admirable. I managed to tackle my issues whereas they had never dealt with their’s and dumped much of it on me. She said I had determination and strength.
Maybe it sounds like I am “dumping” on my parents but I made sure I acknowledged everything they had both been through and the struggles they went through. It’s not like I am thinking they failed miserably because I do have compassion for them. People’s circumstances are rarely black and white so you can’t just say someone should or shouldn’t have done this or that if you don’t know everything. I guess I am trying to say it’s easy to condemn people and say they screwed up but that doesn’t allow us to feel empathy or compassion if we are determined to stay on our “high horses”.
I know both of my parents had their struggles and I am able to see I was carrying around a lot of
their baggage my whole life unconsciously. Now I can see it for what it is and can unpack their “stuff” leaving me with mine to work on. It’s a heck of a lot easier when you just have to work on one person’s (your own) baggage as opposed to two or more. I think of it like carrying three backpacks all your life then suddenly realizing you can let two go and you are just carrying one now. It’s a great relief because you can choose what stays in the backpack and what goes.
A sense of relief and gratitude fills me. There has been so much lately I have managed to let go off both physically and symbolically. I wish my parents had been able to deal with their issues before I was born but since they couldn’t it’s up to me to address whatever is left, knowing I can cope with one backpack far more easily than three!
Who’s baggage are you carrying around, your’s or someone else’s?