• Karen Brilliant Andrews

BAGGAGE and WALLS: We All Have Them

Updated: 2 days ago

I’m going out on a limb, but I fully expect most people over the age of 50 to have some sort of emotional baggage. For those who don’t know, emotional baggage is considered the feelings you have about your past and the things that have happened to you, which often have a negative effect on your behavior and attitudes. If you are single and over 50, yes, you have some baggage.

Unfortunately, most of the time this involves a romantic relationship. The heart is the most vulnerable part of a person’s overall make-up. You learn how to protect it. If you don’t, it'll break. Once it breaks, you start responding to any situation as if it will inevitably happen again.

This is called…BAGGAGE.

Unfortunately, I believe the kindest hearted people are the ones who get hurt most. They are the ones who see only the good in people and believe the best in those around them. It isn’t that they ignore the negative…to them it simply does not exist.

When the “awakening” happens and the negative is clearly and painfully evident, it can be traumatizing. The Kind Hearted One didn’t see it coming, does not understand it, and is completely bumfuzzled by it. This results in building various defense mechanisms to protect themselves so that it doesn’t happen again. If you build barriers around your heart you now have …WALLS

Baggage and Walls.

Chances are you have had some sort of friendship or type of relationship where you have experienced hurt: family, friend, or significant other. You may have your own levels of Baggage and Walls. Baggage where you are expecting the next person to do it to you again.

Walls - you don't get too close to anyone again so you don't get hurt.

Most have the instinct to bolt and run when they get hurt. You “reject to protect” when it comes to protecting your heart. Human nature, we have all done it at least once. After rejecting everything and everyone for a while, most will typically take time for your emotional wounds to heal - couple days, couple weeks, or a couple years. Maybe you reach out first, maybe the other person.

I recall someone who told me, “If someone reaches out to you, they aren’t the same person who pushed you away.” I also remember being told that the best way to predict future actions is through previous behavior. However, sometimes you get to a point where peace wins overall and may not be worth it anymore.

For me peace wins out a lot! It has to. I am the only one who is “there” for me and I have to STAY OK. Sure, my son is grown. But for me, I never stopped being a mom and I like to think my son still needs me. So I have to be strong for me, and for him. By now…I have learned a couple things.

I’ve learned some people are like cats, especially men. You don’t catch, or tame a feral cat. The cat decides if it wants to be caught or not, and will let you know if it considers your household a “safe” place. Cats know which houses set out extra food by the door, and if they want it…they will come around and get it.

But like any person feeding a feral cat…the cat doesn’t get to come inside the heartbeat of the home. Feral cats come around to the people they like, and if the owner of the home thinks the cat will stay around and can be happy there…maybe it gets to come inside. But you don’t want to get attached to a cat that has no intention, or is capable, of sticking around. You also don't want a cat only there for the free food. The food isn’t free, someone has to pay for it--the Kind Hearted homeowner.

Life is good. We learn the lessons we need to go forward with our lives. Each lesson prepares us for the next level in life. We have to GO through it in order to GROW

through it. That is my goal - growth. Honestly, baggage and walls aside, I have never felt more complete in my life. My lessons and heartaches were necessary to get me where I am today. And I love where I am today.

GOD is GOOD! All the time! Even when I don't seem to like His plan, I trust it.

I've learned that some people may not be IN my life for various reasons. Sometimes they simply do not WANT to be in my life – regardless of what I want. There are times when simply knowing someone is out there LIVING life could maybe be enough for me. Strangely, I need to know that "that person" is thereout there somewhere. I've learned a person doesn’t necessarily have to be in your life every moment of every day…to be in your life.

Sure, I want them in my life! I enjoy that person's company. I also care for that person. But I can’t make them want me in their life.

Some things wind up being simply what they are, regardless if we I like it. Maybe you are just too scared to take that chance again. Maybe you care too much. Sometimes, it is simply what it is.

Some people continue to stay in your heart. They have always been and always will be - even if I'm not in theirs. I've discovered other people may live in an equally strong walled-fortress, and like me, may have enough baggage to stay there a little while.

And...maybe not. It's called Baggage and Walls.

We all have them. And that's OK. It means you care, have cared, are capable of caring, and are cautiously guarding your heart. And if you got hurt again, it means you care enough for people and have not let bad experiences keep you from living life.

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