We’ve all been there. We all have times where we leave a situation, but end up bringing more pieces along than we expected. We aren’t physically involved, but our mental and emotional state is still heavily burdened. We all know about it. Erykah Badu sang about. It’s a part of living called carrying baggage.
“Bag lady, you gone hurt cho back. Dragging all them bags like that…” Muva Badu knew what she was talking about. Baggage is heavy and full of things we know good and well we don’t need for our next destination. We struggle holding on to it, and tire of being out of breath. Yet, when you have so much of it, you just can’t seem to find a proper place to sit it all down. Part of it is because we don’t want to let go just in case we need those memories and feelings again. But the other side of this, is that we don’t let go because we love souvenirs. And sometimes, our baggage is a “souvenir” of our hurt, that reminds us to not allow that pain again.
This concept of not knowing how to leave things behind is commonly given to women. But let’s not act as if both genders aren’t capable of making this mistake. Men also carry baggage; they may have less loads, but it’s often just as heavy.
Women are often more willing than men to give chances on love… Initially. We may not have been lucky with Guy #1, so we’ll give Guy #2 a chance.. And #3, #4 and #5. But each failed attempt and repeated mistake is always noted. It’s when we reach our breaking point and the max weight of failed experiences that we begin to allow it to affect our future relationships. We’ve held on to so much that we can afford to make room for another possibility.
With men, on the other hand, you only have one time. Maybe two. Men are so careful about loving and who they open themselves up to that it tears them apart when it goes left. It eats at them, whether they admit it or not. And since they gave their all to someone, that person will walk away with so much of them that they feel they can’t get back. Their baggage is the memory of giving all you can and it still not being enough to the person they wanted the most. It’s hard for them to cross that bridge, to admit that it’s there and to lay that burden down.
You can love a man with every ounce of your being. But if he can’t carry that, he will never pick it up. If he is still holding the weight of another woman’s mistakes, pain and burden then he has no room to carry you, too. A man opening up to give love and relationships another try takes time and work, and this is often something he has to work out by himself, without you watching a clock and counting down the time.
Regardless of the gender or the situation, a relationship is not an airport and you are not baggage claim. It is not your responsibility to deal with what someone else has carried with them for years. Dealing with someone else’s baggage does not lighten their load; it only puts you in a position where you feel obligated to help them carry it, and you are not. Plus, consider this: if they have so much baggage, where will there be room for them to accept the love you have to give? Where can they squeeze you in? You have no place there, and they refuse to make room to take you on.
Love may be what makes baggage better, but the person carrying that weight has to be able to understand that. And as much as you may be willing to give them what they need, if they can’t understand that, then they will keep breaking their back and future relationships. You have no choice but to give them the space and time that they need to come to the realization. You don’t deserve to leave with some unexpected weight, either.