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This week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions is inspired by the recent discovery that the ‘dream house’ we lost out on back in 2013 is a money pit. Turns out that we escaped problems that would have run to hundreds of thousands of pounds! Jaysus! Thankfully, that house is long behind us, but this revelation got me thinking about how it’s a metaphor for life. We each go through experiences of not getting what we want and beat ourselves up about it, often fearing and regretting that we’ve missed out despite not knowing what’s up ahead or recognising that, actually, we may have had a lucky escape.

Some nuggets from the episode:

  • With the benefit of hindsight, we can have a sense of humour about life. We can be grateful. But we also don’t have to wait to hear bad news or how it went pear-shaped for somebody else to practice this attitude.
  • No one hands us a manual on the day we turn eighteen with a full breakdown of what adulthood will contain, including instructions on how to deal with every situation and a timeline. We also expect too much of ourselves, as if we’re supposed to have known how to do ‘everything’ on arrival into adulthood and that we only have a few chances to ‘get things right’. Hands up who took a class at school or was even taught at home about boundaries, self-care, figuring out your personal values? Yeah, exactly. Trial and error, baby!
  • Our parents were once children themselves. No one is born a parent. We don’t have to treat our parents or other family members as if they are the arbiters of living the ‘right’ life. Our parents made their choices (and relationships) in an entirely different time — and these might not be right for us. And we’ll only discover our path through our own trial and error. No one else can do it for us.
  • We want to know what’s up ahead so that we can be in control so that we can plan for it and mitigate for any potential unpleasantness. Turns out, that’s what experiencing life is for! Trial and error, baby!
  • We don’t know the timing of life and sometimes what we want isn’t always in our best interests. I used to insist that the type of guy I wanted was a Mr Unavailable.
  • Sometimes we’ve wanted something for so long that when it turns out to be the wrong thing, we’re like, ‘I’m in it now. Let’s do this!’. We ignore ourselves and then, of course, beat ourselves up instead of taking clues and cues from the experience about what could potentially be a better fit for us.
  • We’re around the people we need to be around. Relationships help us to heal, grow and learn.
  • In situations such as where someone is pissing us off or where we immediately assume or feel something, it’s critical to recognise that we wouldn’t respond in the way that we do if it weren’t already a habit. That’s our past. That’s our baggage.
  • If you keep insisting that an unhealthy relationship is right for you, it ensures that 1) you’re miserable and 2) you’ll get involved with that same person/situation or with something/someone similar. And it will be more painful. If we keep insisting that something that was clearly wrong for us is right for us, we can’t be open to something better.

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