Picture this…

You’re currently only one week away from experiencing the vacation that you have been planning for months. You’ve been working hard day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, and you’ve finally decided that you deserve to cash in on your vacation time that you have never taken advantage of. You smile intensely as you realize that in a week from now you’ll be lying on the beach and sipping ice cold Mai Tai’s under a rainbow beach umbrella as you wiggle your toes in the warm sand while you look out on to the picturesque background of the majestic waves rolling back and forth in the clear blue ocean water with sun blazing bright and high in the cloudless sky.

And because you don’t want to wait around until the last minute to get your bag packed, you decide that you are going to get everything ready to go now. You walk over to your closet and shift through all of the countless clothes that you have hanging up until you reach the back of your closet and lay eyes upon your big blue duffle bag that is practically brand new, since the last and only time you used it was five years ago when you took your last vacation. You drag it out from your closet, knocking over a few shoes in the process, and throw the bag down on top of your bed.

Flitting across your room, you go from drawer to dresser, to closet, to suitcase, and back again, gathering all of the items that you’ll need on your vacation. You throw in swim suits, tank tops, shorts, sandals, and a host of other items that you think you may need on your trip.

After you have everything in your bag that you think you need, you pull the sides together and attempt to zip it. You get about a fourth of the way up your duffle bag before you can’t pull the zipper closed anymore. Looking down at the bag, you recognize that you have two options. You can either take out some of your stuff or you can put the new muscles that you’ve gained from going to gym after work to use and try and zip your duffle bag closed. After mulling over the options in your mind for about a minute, you decide that you’re going to go with option two. You roll your duffle bag over on to its side and throw your body on top of it. While your full body weight is lying down on top of your bag, you extend your right arm to the zipper and resume pulling the zipper closed. When you get done zipping up your duffle bag halfway, you give your right arm a break and take your left hand and continue tugging at the zipper until your bag is completely closed. Feeling accomplished, you climb off of your bag, exhale the breath that you’ve been holding in for the past minute, wipe off the beads of sweat that have accumulated on your upper lip from your battle with your duffle bag, and then you prepare to move your bag off of your bed.

Grabbing the handle, you pull the bag with all of your might, but it doesn’t take you long to realize that even with all the extra time you’ve been spending at the gym, you’ll be lucky if you can drag your duffle bag from your bed to your bedroom door that’s all of 7 and a half feet away from you.

Sighing, you decide that you need to get rid of some of things in your bag. Unzipping the zipper that you just spent the last fifteen minutes pulling closed, you let your bag fall open. As you rummage through your duffle bag and assess what you can actually get rid of, you notice that you have packed an unnecessarily large amount of items that you have absolutely no need for in a tropical paradise.

After five short minutes of cutting back on your unnecessary vacation items, you have a considerable amount of more room in your bag. Laughing quietly to yourself, you wonder why you even decided to pack your rain boots, three jackets, two pairs of sweat pants, a hair dryer, two extra brushes, and all five of the A Game of Thrones book series. After surveying your suitcase one more time to make sure that you rid the bag of all pointless clutter, you zip it up and effortlessly carry your duffle bag to the front door.

Positive thinker, there are probably things in your life right now that you are holding on to that you should just let go of. Carrying that problem, worry, fear, or doubt around with you on a daily basis can only make your life that much more difficult to deal with. These problems can become burdensome and can start to feel like a heavy weight that you have to carry around with you 24/7 and can’t ever seem to shake off.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are worrisome things that you can’t let go of that you need to carry around with you everyday. Giving up on worrying about certain things may actual cause you more harm than good. You probably shouldn’t stop caring completely about a chronic health problem or a debt that you need to pay off, but there are plenty of things that you are probably holding on to that you do not have any control over that you can let go of. It’s not necessary to hold on to anger from past break-ups, and you can’t control the fact that not everyone likes you, and it would do you a world of good to stop obsessing over the fact that you didn’t get the dream job that you applied for, especially since the fact that you didn’t get the job is beyond your control.

Positive thinker, I challenge you to make the decision to let go of some of those burdensome things that you are carrying around with you from day to day.

Let go of those unnecessary fears that are causing you pain.

Get rid of the shame that keeps you up at night.

Cast away the needless doubts that are weighing you down like an anchor holding back a ship.

And eliminate that guilt and resentment that you’ve been holding on to.

When you stop harboring on to things that cause you pain, you open up more space into your life. Space, that can allow you to let in more things that cause you joy instead of pain. Positive thinker, letting go of these troublesome things is only going to make your life brighter and lighter. So what are you waiting for? Commit to making a change that will get rid of your excess baggage.

Remember positive thinker, “Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday.” –Zen proverb

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