Last night I found myself humming a song by Erykah Badu. “Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back, draggin all them bags like that. I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you….” Back in college when I first heard the classic lyrics of her hit song, Bag Lady, I didn’t know what the heck a bag lady was and what she meant by “packing light”. I loved the beat and her voice, so I sang along and swayed to the rhythm just like everyone else. It wasn’t until a decade later that I really began to understand her beautifully crafted wake up call to women: The strength and resiliency needed to carry you through trying times is now the anchor keeping you tethered to the past. Your refusal to move on makes it impossible for others to get vulnerable with you and reach a deeper connection; a pre-requisite to love.
LET IT GO or you’ll end up bitter and alone.
Let me tell you a little something about men: when it comes down to it, they will always go with the one who creates peace. It doesn’t matter if you’re more attractive, better educated, younger, sexier, or thinner, men want a peaceful home and will err on the side of the woman who markets herself in such a way. For the women who already have their defenses ready by saying “But THEY made us this way!”, or “They can’t handle a strong woman”, you’re missing the forest for the trees. Ask yourself; who would want to deal with someone else’s left over drama? Would you? If men don’t HAVE to, they won’t. No one is under any obligation to deal with you, let alone love you.
So what can you do to “put down them bags”?
Name it. Hey, you gotta call it for what it is. What the hell happened? When did it start to go sideways and how did YOU contribute? There are always two sides to a story, so what was your role?
Learn from it. This is the part that most bitter people miss. They never got the moral of the story because they are still stuck on who played the bad guy. Make sure you gain some nuggets of never-do-THAT-agains or at the very least, I-could-have-done-that-betters.
Put it down. Go on, just put it down. Riiiight, there. Now, look at it one more time and walk away. This is the forgiveness part for those who haven’t caught on. To walk away is to know that it is now a part of your history. To remain in history as a lesson for future relationships.
Now, get yourself ready to be open and vulnerable, but with a renewed sense of self and purpose. Use the lessons you’ve learned as part of your revised set of relationship requirements and/or boundaries. USE them; ex-bag lady. You’ll find what you’re looking for.
Julie Wadley is a certified life/relationship coach and owner of a boutique matchmaking company, Eli Simone, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eli Simone offers group and private programs for getting more out of life and love. Visit www.elisimone.com for more information.