In almost every bridal Shower I have conducted, there is always this that features “Should I disclose my past to my husband to be? Or what do I do with my past? It was so terrible?” Others even say…”what happened in my past is actually PAST, not to be remembered”. So I will ask you the very same questions I ask every lady “what’s your baggage?” What is this suitcase of things you are bringing into the marriage?
I remember when I was getting married; I packed a large suitcase of the best things I needed to take to our honeymoon; a brand new swimsuit that shows the best of my curves, brand new Victoria’s secrets undies, brand new everything.
You see it was the moment to put my best foot forward
I had quickly tacked away the old torn undies, the t-shirts -that advertised a popular beverage, and other oldies. To be totally honest, isn’t that what we do when we are “packing “for Marriage? Under our belt is the brand new Marriage CD on “21 ways to make it work”, Marriage books like Love and Respect, the cook books etc. These are all genuinely good and very important resources for marriage preparation. However, what’s in your Baggage that only you or your family knows?
Before we tackle the issues of Baggage we will need to have a clear definition of what Baggage is so let’s define it. According to Wikipedia Baggage stands for “past experiences or long-held ideas regarded as burdens and impediments”.
In April 2010, Jerry Springer, a popular TV show Host and Producer, Popularly known for the controversial TV show ” The Jerry Springer Show” which televised couples or individuals who bare it all over marital scandals, parent to child wrangles, paternity test revelations etc. He came up with a new show “BAGGAGE?” This was a reality dating show whereby a Prospective Date seeking a date would go through a series of questions and revelations all hidden in Suitcases.
Each contestant would have to reveal their “baggage” to the prospective date and therefore, possibly win a date. Each baggage would have an embarrassing, strange habit or belief. This show though entertaining and somehow a stage managed affair pauses a very important question on dating and Marriage. Are there things we have in our “SUITCASES” that we would rather leave unattended to? Or even behind the closed doors of the past?
So I will pause this question to you…What’s your Baggage? Do you have past experiences that have affected the way you think about marriage? How about Family, sex and children? Or maybe beliefs that you hold so dearly concerning a certain ethnic group, race or gender that would affect your judgement consciously or subconsciously? Is it a past relationship? Or friendship that you hold so dearly due to commitment, vows, or covenants made?
So how can you tell if you are carrying baggage from the Past? Here are some signs:-
- Do you have secrets that only you or your family knows about? Do the secrets inhibit you from actualizing authenticity in this relationship?
- Are you constantly comparing your spouse or significant other to Tom, Dick or Jane? Do feelings emitted from this make you nostalgic or remorseful?
- Are you constantly anxious concerning the baggage? Or living in fear that this baggage will be revealed or crawl back into your reality?
- Are you unable to connect with your spouse/significant other spiritually, physically, emotional etc? You feel a certain distance from them, the thought of being connected to them in that manner brings anxiety, fear or even sadness?
If the answer to any of these questions was a Yes or Maybe.. Then you are carrying more that you should. It’s probably time to let go.
So how do we let go of this baggage?
The first steps in handling the Baggage are:
- Start by identifying what type of Baggage you carrying…is it emotional, physical etc. Identify it by giving it a name. Is it a fear of Intimacy? Or was it Sexual abuse? Or it could be that you had an abortion or possibly a child and you have never revealed it. So Identify it.
- Invite the Lord into the process and declare total dependency on God during this process. It’s only when you realize that this is a process that only through the power of God can one find total healing that you will begin to let go. This involves confessing the baggage and then repenting and acknowledging that this baggage has led you to be self-reliant or angry, or whatever the emotion has controlled you.
- Invite a Counsellor, Pastor, Mentor to walk with you through this process
- Disclose to your significant other or husband/wife.
- Make a decision to start a fresh.
About the Author
Cynthia Wambui Otieno is a Wife, Mother, Pastor and Founder of The Lamead Network Trust.. La -Mead means to ignite. Her life’s Purpose is to enrich and empower the woman to achieve her full Potential.
Cynthia is a Trained Special Education Teacher, Passionate about Women and loves to spend her spare time cooking and traveling with her family. Reach out to Cynthia with your relationship questions, Dilemmas and discussions and she will be happy to walk you through the issues.
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