Friday, April 15, 2011

A New Definition of "Baggage"

We often hear that someone has “too much baggage” to be ready for a committed, connected relationship. At forty, Kiran had been married and divorced twice. He still owns and operates a business with his first wife and a rental property with his second. When he started dating again after his second divorce, Kiran got the message time and time again that all this “baggage” was a big strike against him.

After three years of this sort of rejection, Kiran met Leah. Rather than seeing Kiran’s former spouses as a burden, Leah saw them as an opportunity to get to know him better. “I would love to have met Kiran earlier in life, so it’s great to have them around,” she says. “They tell me stories about him that go back to high school.” Leah and Kiran have now been married for several years. “I’m very close to both his exes,” she says. “I actually call them my sisters-in-law!” Now, who had the baggage here: Kiran, or the women he’d dated before meeting Leah?

From Kiran’s story, we can see that baggage isn’t always what we think it is. It isn’t necessarily our circumstances, our past, or even the issues we’re currently working with. Baggage is often just a lack of flexibility about accepting whatever is showing up in our life or someone else’s.

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