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As soon as we think we know, we don’t really know.
That’s the saying, right?
Embracing the idea of a beginner’s mentality is understanding that knowing is actually not knowing at all. It’s being in a space where everything feels new. There’s always more to learn, and by being open to learning, we remain open to love.
Life ends the moment we think that we know enough, that we’ve learned it all—but one thing we can always learn more about is ourselves.
Committing to knowing ourselves deeply helps us live the happiest and most meaningful lives we can live. Not exploring life from our ego—but from our truth, our soul, and where our core truth lives—in nature.
Once we choose the spiritual path, consciously being aware of our experiences, regardless of how hard it may be—there’s no going back. From then on, life becomes about observation, awareness, and learning. And that will continue to be the case for the rest of our lives if we let it.
It’s hard, addictive, often painful, but also wonderfully rewarding.
This mindset is important when looking for, or being in, relationships. We have a much better chance of meeting someone who can walk beside us on our journey when we know ourselves more deeply.
So often, we enter relationships to be completed, or to hide the pain, or to fulfill a need for attention—we have all felt that.
Maybe it’s because I’m single, but this makes me think of what happens when we look for a partner or embrace a partner if one comes along when we weren’t necessarily looking for one. This makes me think of the term baggage.
Emotional baggage covers a wide spectrum. It relates to anything that weighs heavy on our lives. It can be trauma, which often stems from childhood experiences. It can be fear. It can be financial anxiety. It can be PTSD or an overwhelming feeling of regret for past mistakes—anything that we hold on to that prevents us from standing in our power or truth.
My past is full of broken relationships and even friendships, where the person I loved could claim the main cause of our downfall was that I didn’t share my own baggage.
A few years ago, I met the person I was convinced I was supposed to be with forever. My heart was full of love for her. But it wasn’t full of love for me.
After weeks of staring up at the ceiling with this beautiful person beside me, as I mulled over the agoraphobia that I had, and had managed to hide up until that point—the weight of its effects became too much for the both of us. I couldn’t share my 15-year-old baggage with her, so I hid a major part of my life and my personality from her.
I learned my lesson from that experience, and decided that moving forward, I would always own my baggage. More importantly, I would own the work that needs to be done to unpack it. Then, when I’m with a new partner, how they receive it is their choice. They’ll know exactly who I am and also who I am trying to be.
I want to learn what holds me back, what thought patterns I have that keep me stuck in the past, and what worries I have that project fear into the future. I want to learn the ways I shelter myself from being vulnerable and to realize that I don’t need to protect myself anymore. I want to learn about my triggers so that I can choose to respond to situations from my core truth rather than my ego.
When we hide parts of ourselves and our past in relationships, they end up stale or emotionless, even when the people in it are determined to stay together. Relationships break apart when we discover something about ourselves, or our partner, that wasn’t necessarily what we signed up for—when both parties could have been none-the-wiser.
We all adopt traits and perspectives from our parents that we develop through childhood experiences, sometimes showing up as trauma as we grow older. In doing this, we develop aspects of our personalities that can shelter us from our truth—stemming from the ego. All of us.
Still, so many people say they don’t want baggage when looking for a partner, whether it’s a first date or filling in the details for a dating website profile. Believe me, I’ve tried a few.
There is so much destruction in this idea.
For someone to not want baggage suggests one of two things: either they don’t believe they have any themselves and don’t want someone who does, or they know they have baggage but don’t want someone else who does because they have enough of their own.
Both of these mindsets are toxic.
If someone truly doesn’t believe they have any emotions to work through, then they don’t truly know themselves. The work is not being done. As soon as we begin learning about ourselves and our own spirituality, we bring more awareness to the emotional weight that we carry so we can unpack it and make it lighter.
If someone does know that they have baggage but doesn’t want someone who shares that, then the work is not being done either. There’s selfishness in the idea that someone else can carry our baggage for us without having us to carry theirs. It shows that they’re expecting their partner to do the work for them, which doesn’t lend itself to a loving relationship.
Self-awareness allows us to begin unpacking our traumas, and we continue to learn more about ourselves while removing the layers that interfere with our core truth. Only then we can we start to let the light—to let love—shine a little brighter.
I’m at a point in my life where I would love to meet someone one day to build a life with, to have a family with, and I know that I don’t want to do that with someone who doesn’t have any baggage. I don’t want to do it with someone who doesn’t think they have any baggage. I want to do those things with someone who comes with baggage and claims it.
I want to be with a partner who has an awareness of their own sh*t. I want to meet someone who is aware of the weight they carry, who is doing the work to unpack it, and who is willing to let me hold the baggage with them—knowing that they will also hold mine.
I want to meet someone who is open and willing to tell me about their burdens, so I can help lighten the load while they unpack theirs too. Not wanting someone with baggage is expecting a life where we can ignore the ups and downs of living. Life is at its best when there’s feeling, hurting, and celebrating. Life is certainly not about going it alone throughout our journey.
Even when we’re single, we still need support from friends, family members, or even an unlikely stranger on a train. We need support and guidance so that we’re able to grow.
Just like how beautiful flowers can only blossom when they have the sun, and the earth, and the water they need, we can’t force someone to grow, and we can’t force them to heal, either. We can offer support for them while they try, but only if they are doing the work on their own first.
And when the baggage feels heavy, and we feel low—that’s when someone allowing us to share that weight by holding space for them, or holding their hand, is so powerful.
When we’re on the search for love, we shouldn’t choose someone who thinks they don’t have any baggage to carry. In fact, we shouldn’t search at all. We can just mindfully keep our eyes open for a person who owns their baggage and is consciously doing the work to unpack it.
They’ll most likely be willing to share it with us, too—as long as we’re prepared and willing to do the same for them.