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September 2020
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Issues Give You Baggage

We all have issues! What?? What does she mean we all have issues?? I don’t have any issues. You tell a lie…liar, liar, pants on fire. My name is Belinda Otas and I have issues. Now before you run for your life, I’m dealing with them and the ones I’m yet to get a hold of and put  to death, I’m learning how to manage them in my transition room. I sure don’t want any baggage, believe me, I don’t. It takes up too much space, energy and time.

This is my opinion and mine alone, there are people, whose issues you will discover on Facebook, either by their status or their contribution to a thread/conversation. I dare say it is downright sad to display your ignorance on the WWW Milky Way…

The source of one’s issue or issues could be anything, from abandonment to sexual abuse to domestic violence to being bullied or to have someone betray you or violate your confidence and trust. It could even be from an offense or the break-up of a relationship/friendship. It could be anything, issues don’t announce themselves but they led to emotional baggage and as soon as you recognise it/them, it is only wise to deal with it/them privately before they deal with you publicly.

Personally, one thing I have learnt about myself is that I internalise pain, hence it takes some time to deal with certain matters. For example, when a trusted party wrongs/offends me, that is one thing that really irks me. Now don’t misunderstand me, there are small wrongs/offenses and there are huge wrongs/offenses. Like they say, don’t sweat the small stuff but the big ones, the really big ones, the ones that make you say, hmmmmmm!!!! While shaking your head and hot tears streaming down your face, it/they take time to deal with and get over for me. Though I keep a journal, I never use it to record any ills against me. They are my map and dreams of gratitude and will always serve that purpose. In my twenties, I found dealing with certain issues a rather tasking challenge, maybe due to the fact that I had been shielded by other life circumstances but when that season of being protected was over, I had to face up to the reality of life. When I changed my mind about running away from ‘my issues’ and started growing up, my mentor/mentors (books, books, books – I have a book titled, Even With My Issues) also helped me and it got easier. I’m in my thirties now, still dealing with stuff but the biggest breakthrough has been learning to verbalise my pain/anger/what I may be feeling in a matured way though I fail on that front sometimes. Hence, I don’t want to use the words, ‘controlled environment.’ If you hear and see me on the phone to service providers…not a pretty sight. Where other parties are concerned, I’m learning that too and it definitely brings some level of release to the situation. However, let’s be honest, there will be times when you have to take a principled stand on a matter, from family to friends to the work place. I understand and appreciate that but it helps to take that principled stand with some form and level of restraint and respect.

Funny how you are so carefree as a child and forgive so easily but as an adult, you remember every wrong to the most minute detail. However sexual abuse or domestic violence are not things children forget, it stays with you for life if you have been a victim or lived in an environment where there was some form of it. Then of course, there are those of us, who carry a truckload of baggage about because we feel hard-done- by due to not getting a sweetie. I’m sorry, I don’t mean or aim to belittle anyone’s life experiences but there comes a time when you must stop wearing the badge of victim because life is not going to wait for you to get over your ‘ISSUES.’ It moves on with or without you, so you best move with it.

This post was supposed to be short. So, I end on this note that as we countdown into 2011, I hope we will inhale, exhale and release some of our issues from the past year and the ones that we need to deal with, we face them head-on. From the most painful to the most disappointing things we endured, that we would let them go and create room for opportunities. Opportunities for new relationships, businesses, dreams, fun among many others things life has to offer. No one human being, event or incident is worth that much power.  If anyone interprets all I am trying to say, then it would be Erykah Badu. Now, you don’t want to be called a bag lady or bag man. Enjoy!!!


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