I like the Eagles. I will sometimes put on their “Greatest” CD when I’m puttering around in my office at home. I’ll sing along with “Hotel California” (if no one’s around). The song is classic. And it concludes with the cryptic line “Relax” said the night man. “We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you want. But you can never leave.” The song is an allegory on the self destruction, hedonism and greed in the music industry in the ’70’s.
Yet that line is something of a reminder that we all carry emotional, physical and mental “baggage” around. That we can “never leave.” It’s baggage from our youth, from spoken words, from accidents, injury, relationships, pitfalls, violence, job issues and the day-to-day challenge of life. I was thinking about this in talking with a friend whose boss is insecure, angry, demanding and – yet – quite successful. One observation I made was “she is who she is – and she probably can’t help it.”
She could. But maybe she can’t. We all have “triggers” that can set off smiles, tears or shudders. Many of those triggers have origin in our own journey. And we carry those triggers – and that baggage – for as long as we are around. It is that baggage that – in the end – makes us who we are. We may repress the negative stuff. And yet – it’s there. Waiting. Just beneath the surface. Yeah, I have baggage. You do too. Sometimes it’s not good to talk about it (though it can be therapeutic to do so). We can just recognize that as to baggage, we’re not alone.