I don’t know about you but as much as I love to travel, I hate packing for the trip. Trying to anticipate the weather, picking out the right earrings, will my tennis shoes fit in my carry on and are all my liquids in 3-ounce bottles? Then, despite my planning, I either forget something or, more likely bring way too much.
Can you relate? Some time ago I saw a sign in a travel agency that said: Remember whenever you travel, you will always need half as many clothes and twice as much money. How true!
Taking a trip always forces us to decide what to bring and what to leave behind…these are two important questions, especially if the trip is one of transition. One thing I learned in my divorce many years ago (aka Major Transition #1) was how hard it was to move forward if I kept bringing my anger along with me. No matter how hard I tried to hide it, bury it or keep it hidden in my suitcase, “packing” my anger always kept me stuck.
Desperate attempts to change the past
Interestingly, at around the same time I was at a work seminar where the speaker was talking about mediating disputes between countries. She described the importance forgiveness played in moving those discussions forward. She said, and I will never forget it, “Forgiveness is giving away the desperate attempt to change the past.”
Stay stuck or…?
That was a real “aha” moment for me. I suddenly saw what hanging on to anger does. It keeps us stuck in the past, mad at something or someone that, no matter how hard we try, will never change. Wow. What good is that? Trip cancelled and we stay stuck and angry. We hurt no one but ourselves and halt progress to a better self. Not a good alternative.
Packing forgiveness, leaving anger behind
On this trip, I’ve decided to pack lots of forgiveness and hope and leave my anger at home (at least most of it-I’m human after all !) Forgiveness and hope –that’s what’s in my suitcase. What’s in yours?