It might not be the easiest to hear, but we all have baggage. Some of it is really nice-looking, some might be heavy, some might be tucked far back in a deep closet, and some might be lost, waiting to be found.
The latter is what I found myself struggling with recently—that darn baggage that I thought was gone forever. Well, it found me. Someone, this guy I met recently, brought it back to me. He reminded me of all the times I was made to feel less than desirable. All the times I tried to engage in conversations about feelings with those who were afraid, not knowledgeable enough, or unwilling to discuss them. The times I felt small and unheard.
All it took was one sentence. One sentence I had heard multiple times from multiple partners.
I wondered why my insecurities and those negative feelings of my past were rearing their ugly heads. So I paused and allowed myself to be in those feelings. I began to reflect. I sat in those feelings and let them run their course for a little while. What I realized was that I deserved to treat myself with compassion. When I was upset, my go-to was to think negatively of myself. I questioned my reactions and felt bad for feeling the way I did and handling myself the way I had. With more work, I do think my reactions to triggers will improve or lessen, but I didn’t deserve to take myself down a deep hole of regret and “what-ifs” and “I-should-haves”. Now I know I can do better next time, or at least be conscious of an effort to.
When I react in ways I have in the past, it can be easy for me to think that I haven’t changed, I haven’t grown. But that’s not true. I have learned, I have grown, I have become a better version of myself and will continue to. It is okay to slip up—none of us are perfect. It is okay to be reminded of a painful past—life is consistent in that there will be ups and downs. My thought is that the more we become comfortable with the uncomfortable, the easier we can adjust and balance our feelings. Sometimes that will take new people reminding you of old things.
Do not let the pains of your past rule your present. Use the past as motivation to succeed in the ways you haven’t yet or were unable to previously. Make better choices, meet awesome people, and have compassion for yourself and the pace at which you are developing.
We are not our pasts. We are not damaged. We are not undeserving.
We are here. We are healing. We are worthy.