Monday 21 December 2020


'Am a Work-in-Progress
The Leveller:

We each have baggage in our life. These we accumulate as part of our passage through life. They define who we are as persons and the way we relate. Like I like to say, “I am who I am because of all I have been through.” Each of us is who we are because of all we have been through. Our baggage defines the way we behave and relate in different circumstances and situations of life.

Like some people like to say, "nothing is real. Everything is as it is because of who or what we have made them by the person we are." And, the people we are is a choice. We are not what happened to us, nor is our baggage one to one relatable to what happened in our pilgrimage process. Rather, our baggage and the person we have turned out to become are our interpretation and how we have chosen to relate to our pilgrimage events.

The Inconvenient Truth:

This is in no way to belittle anyone's pain. Obviously, not all our baggage is palatable, especially when it has not been faced and dealt with. For as long as we refuse to face our baggage head-on, look it straight in the eyes and speak all that we want to say to it, we are not free. Carl Gustav Jung puts it this way, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.”

"Whatever limits us we call fate." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) It, however, does not need to limit us. It is no fate at all. It is just the limit of our present understanding. Howbeit, many repeat the history of their lineage and wonder why. Until you address your baggage, it will drive you in ways as to perpetuate your history and its limitations. 

Blurry Vision:

We each need to come to that life-defining moment when we make a definite, driving a stake in the ground break from the demons of our past. None of us truly sees clearly. We all tend to see and interpret things through the prism of our baggage (experiences). It is worth repeating here that our baggage is not what happened to us, but our interpretation of it. 

So, as we saw in the example of the two brothers, people can have the same life experience but two entirely different interpretations. Hence, two different baggage, two different prisms. Unfortunately, we then go forth to interpret every other issue in our life by our main baggage. Our main baggage is our prism. 

You Are Inexcusable:

It can both cause us to make angels out of angels, or demons out of angels, and so on. Emerson says, “Treat a man as he is, [or, you think he is] and he will remain as he is [or, you think he is]. Treat a man as he could be, [as you want or desire him to be], and he will become what he should be [that you want him to be].” (Emphasis is mine) We create our own reality. We are creators. We are response-able. 

Remember, in a sense, nothing is real. We make them so, by our expectation of them. If you expect an angel to be a demon, in no time, that will be all you will see, and what you see will call forth even more of it. Irrespective of our history, we determine the baggage we carry from it. We are not prisoners of our history. We are not prisoners of our baggage. We determine the baggage we carry.

Power to Live Free:

We are human beings. We are not animals. We can change. We can do something about our vision. We do not make decisions merely, or only, by instinct. We can think. We can imagine a better world. We can change. We can make changes. We are not prisoners to our baggage. We are the creator of our own baggage. Our place is to use them for our good and not allow them to use us. 

You can "imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public." (Epictetus) And, let these pictures drive your life. Our place is to use them in achieving our predetermined goals, dreams, and vision. We are not helpless. We can make a difference. The onus is on us. That is what we call having character.

So, no matter what your history might be, always remember it is not hopeless. Rather, you have been entrusted with great responsibility. The more the pain it brought, the higher you can go. You need to allow yourself to heal. For, until you heal, you are no good to yourself and those around you. 

For until you heal, the pain is above you and will tend to control you. There is no use wishing it away, no matter what it is. You have to address it. You have to let it heal. You need to gain mastery over it.

© 2015 Akin Akinbodunse

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