How to Unpack Your Mess & Leave Your Bag Behind

Who remembers Erykah Badu’s banger, “Bag Lady”, in 2000? I know, I know, 20 years ago!  The title didn’t give way to the depth of the song though. After listening to the first verse, you then realize that the “bag” is a metaphor for “your mess”. Different bags for a melting pot of different women and cultures. My bag may differ from yours. Your friend’s bag may not be the same for your other friend. However, one bag can also grow into a transformational testimony.  

No one fully knows and understands your story like you. Many will have preconceived notions in their hand or rely solely on gossip. But you know your bag. You know how to overcome your bag. You know how to maintain your bag and if not, there are ways to help support your struggles. If you find it hard to deal with your bag of emotions and situations such as:  finances, career, love, parenting, family, mental health and more; you aren’t alone.  Many women from all walks and shapes of life have had a bag or two.


Knowing your bag and its associated “mess” is the first step.  From there, here’s how you can approach it head on:


Recognize It. Knowing what you carry in the bag and how it affects you is #1. From here so many opportunities open up. If your bag is a toxic relationship, then recognizing it can begin the needed steps to walking away.


Seek Help. Knowing is step #1 but asking for help is the real biggie. Yes, you can still stand tall with your fist in the air but asking for help is still essential. Whether this help is by calling a therapist, asking a friend to help you tackle something or talking with your boss; this is how you grow.


Support. So now you know what’s in your bag and you ask for help. The key to overcoming your bag is maintaining a support system. Having that routine girls night out, support groups or etc can all help to see the finish line.


Learn From It. What’s a bag if you haven’t learned anything? With each step, growth happens. I know I’m not the same person as I was 20 years ago when this song came out. I grew and walked away from many situations. Growth happens when you learn from your mistakes, situations or “bags”. If you don’t learn from it, then it still holds you captive.


So where are my garbage bag ladies? Where are my ziploc ladies? Where are my money sack ladies? 


Let it go, let it go, let it go, LET IT GO! Don’t let your bag fuck up your future.  


C. Scott, A Grown Ass Black Woman

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