Present Tense

Tossing the baggage….

baggageI got a reiki session yesterday to begin to clear away some of the grief that has settled into my body. Reiki is sort of like a massage for your energy field and is designed to dissipate or dissolve any blockages and get the good stuff flowing again.

During this session I received a very clear message that said: “You have got to stop carrying all of this baggage. Stop carrying both you and your husband’s burdens.”

It came through clear as day. The interesting thing is that I’ve been suffering with elbow pain for months and none of my practitioners could figure out what was causing it. Lugging around heavy baggage, perhaps?

I believe that we carry all of our emotions in every cell in our bodies, meaning that over time, the bad stuff builds up and causes pain and disease. Chronic and very serious disease. Like cancer and auto-immune afflictions and diabetes and arthritis. Biggies. We carry around lots of guilt, regret, unexpressed anger, rejection, abuse, both verbal and physical; all of the things that add up to a lot of pain in our lives.

So, I sat down to make of list of what I’ve been carrying around that was resulting in psychic pain and sore elbows. It was quite a long list, but a big, glaring one happened recently and so I figure I would just unpack it and see if you can relate.

I am trying to balance being honest and authentic with being kind, to myself and my fellow humans. I’ve always been quite blunt, but that doesn’t always mean I’ve been honest, but now I’m trying to ask myself how I truly feel about friendships, obligations, invitations etc.

A few months ago, a close friend from long ago, popped up on my Facebook page and we re-connected. She reached out to me and quite honestly, when I saw her request, my first words were “Oh, shit”. Our relationship ended about 10 years ago; it was one of those that just wilted. No big bang or blow-out. She was not responsive during a difficult time with my husband’s health and I decided it was time to “weed my garden”.

Now, I will admit that I never really heard her side and wasn’t all that interested. In my view, the friendship had just run its course.  We texted and messaged for about a month and she was going through a difficult time, having lost her mother a few years ago and more recently her father. She wanted to talk and I just wasn’t ready, so I told her that I had been angry with her for about 10 years.

Let’s just say my timing was not good and it turned very ugly, very quickly. As I was writing my note to her, explaining why I just wasn’t ready to talk, a little voice was whispering…okay screaming in my ear, this will NOT go over well. She will NOT react well or take this in the spirit you intend. But, of course, I hit ‘send’ anyway.

Add this to my bag of guilt that I’m toting around, causing my elbows to scream in pain. I wanted to be honest and tell her that I wasn’t quite ready to fully resume our friendship. I had hoped it would open a discussion between two grown-ups, but it did not. I am afraid that I was unkind and selfish to dump it on her. However, I felt it needed to be said.

How on earth do we all navigate this stuff? How do we communicate our truths and our feelings without bruising others?

This is one, minor incident, but it illustrates the stuff that burrows into our cells and make us feel small or cruel or mean. That is baggage. It’s not necessarily the huge, glaring mistakes that we’ve made, although those weigh very heavily as well. But, I’ve found that I can sort of stand back and get some perspective on my big-ass screw ups. It’s the little ones that take me down.

We all say we prefer honesty, but I think that’s a lie. We don’t. Which is probably why we have such a hard time being honest with ourselves and why we often don’t say what we mean or ask for what we really need.

I was not ready to resume this friendship and my sneaky way of expressing that was to say something that I KNEW in my gut, would end it. So I did and it worked and now I feel crappy about it.

Kind of. Part of me said Thank GOD that’s over. So, there are two sides to every action, but I tend to only focus on the part where I can beat myself up. That is what clearing baggage is about. It’s when you can look at a mistake in judgment or a moment of unkind behavior and forgive yourself.

My affirmation for today is: I forgive myself. Try it. My elbows feel better already.

March 14, 2015 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I find this hilarious not only because my elbow has actually been killing me and I thought it might be another reminder of my age but also because I have so much baggage. I’ve been doing a lot of part work coupled with my daily yoga but I like your idea of a list to better identify what’s blocking me. Although there is an element of appeal to leaving all baggage and running away . Unfortunately that only works temporarily as what ever you left behind catches the red eye and joins you. Best

    Comment by Louise | March 14, 2015 | Reply

  2. You are right and we all have the baggage. Most of us are not sure how to get rid of it and let things go. When I am able to do that I feel better about others and myself. Our world as a whole has many walking around being burdened by their suitcases. Your ideas are positive and have meaning. We can get better at the cleansing as we become more experienced. Sometimes it means turning off the phone or just taking a walk away from it all.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd | March 14, 2015 | Reply

  3. Great timing Jane. I was a little too honest, a little too truthful to my sister in January. Needless to say it didn’t go over well. I need to learn to be a little less blunt, and somehow rid myself of my baggage without hurting others’ feelings. Not sure how, but I’m working on it I guess-perhaps Reiki would work for me too.

    Comment by Terri Sailors-Chartier | March 15, 2015 | Reply

  4. Wow, good insight. I’m going to have to think about this one for myself. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Tracey | March 16, 2015 | Reply

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