Baggage of Your Past
by Brittany Edwards
Most people look at their past as a burden or “baggage,” something they went through but can't seem to get over. And while I agree that a good part of my past is a burden, I also choose see the beauty in it. My oldest daughter is a huge piece of my past. She is from my first marriage to my “high school sweetheart.” We hastily got married and then I became pregnant. Our relationship had been in a bad place for years, even before we got married, so as difficult as it was, as soon as I gathered enough strength to leave, I did. We separated when I was six months pregnant, and divorced a year later, but the beautiful blessing that came from that marriage is all I need to stay positive about my past.
For me, my oldest daughter is proof that my past isn't only a “burden,” but also a blessing. I strongly believe I had to walk that path in order to get to where I am now, even though it was a long, rough path, with no short cuts. Because of that, I now know how love is supposed to feel, and I know that love isn't meant to hurt, it's meant to heal.
And when the love is right, it will heal.
My husband and three daughters are proof of that, and my husband's love for our oldest daughter is proof that love knows no bounds. So, do I regret my failed marriage? No, I don't regret it, I can’t regret it, but I did let go of it. I had to toss that baggage in the trash, because it was of no use to me anymore. I had to let go of what could have been and move on. I also had to recognize that the only way to do that was to unpack my baggage and sort it all out. It may be painful, but it is worth it.
I'm at a place in my life now where my past doesn't weigh heavily on me anymore, and I am free from all the pain it caused my family and me. I threw all that old, heavy baggage away, and kept only the ones I could carry. The ones that remind me of the beauty in my path, not the turbulence, because those are the ones that matter. Those are the ones you should carry with you. However, I can't say that I never think about my past. My past walks around in human form and calls me “Mommy.” When I look at my baby girl, I can see it, right there on her beautiful face, my entire past.
My past isn't just seven years of a painful relationship; my past is so much more. My past is freeing myself from a marriage that could have ruined my daughter's life, and my past is marrying my best friend, who stood by my side through all of it.
So, when it comes to my baggage, I keep the life lessons my travels taught me, but I get rid of everything else. I let go of the pain from my first marriage and keep the life changing knowledge and experience, and I let go of feeling like a failure, and realize that my marriage may have failed, but my daughter and I have won.
So, I learned to pack light.