The Many Faces of Addiction

The journey to healing and recovery

Your Life's Baggage Part 1: What are you carrying?

Your life's baggage - what are you carrying?

Think of your life journey as a trip. When people take a trip they think of where they are going, how they are going to get there and what it is they are going to take with them.

I want you to think about the baggage you take with you on your life journey. The baggage I am talking about carries 1) beliefs about yourself, others, and the world, 2) feelings you value and/or the feelings you experienced that you have held onto because it wasn't safe to express them and 3) the skills you developed that help you to live with others and to achieve your goals.

Think about what it is you are carrying and whether or not you need to consider repacking your bags.

 What I am asking you to do is look at the bags you travel with.  Unpack them and look inside. 

What are you carrying? How long have you been carrying them? Who packed the bags? Do these bags still serve their purpose?

To begin this process, think about the exterior, the shell of your bags. If you were to describe them, what would they look like? 

Perhaps your bags are of brown paper that easily tears or disintegrates in the rain.  Maybe they are sturdy hardback bags or soft medium size bags.  They could be as small as a purse or as large as a trunk. That which shows itself to the world, the shell, is just that, an exterior.

That exterior represents your defenses, built to protect, hide and contain beliefs, feelings and skills.

 What best describes the exterior of your baggage?

Knapsack        Trunk               Overnight Bag           Hardcover       Paper

Softcover        Tattered           Colorful                       Faded             

With wheels

 

  • How else would you describe your bags exterior?
  • Metaphorically, what does that mean to you?
  • How might you want to change the exterior of your bags?
  • What would that change reflect?

This is an important start to letting go of what may be sabotaging your health and happiness.

Look for Part 2 next week where you will find the opportunity to look at beliefs, feelings, and skills you might be carrying.

 

Claudia Black, M.S.W., Ph.D., works in the fields of addiction, codependency, and recovery.

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