I know an awful lot of people that are like puppies with a sock; they just can’t let go. Baggage is a word that is over used. Actually, the word isn’t over used, the need to hang onto the past is.
When my mother married my step-father (a great guy, by the way), she had baggage: an autistic boy and a set of twins, along with ten cats and 3 dogs. She was also bringing another man into his life because he was the father of her children and will always be a part of her life, unfortunately for her, because he will always be a part of her children’s lives. My step-father was marrying baggage central. Don’t get me wrong. He had baggage, too. Three grown children, with children of their own, and lots of money. Along with the money, plenty judgmental people to go along with it.
Let’s get back on track…
And the cold truth:
Someone who can’t get over an event (with or without therapy to help) is called “you have too much time on your hands.” I don’t mean to be insensitive, really. I hope that this example will show you.
There is a song by Savage Garden called “Two Beds and a Coffee Machine.” It’s about a woman who is married to someone who physically abuses her. She opens the door to make sure he is sleeping, picks up the broken glass, packs up her kids in the car, and takes off, but in reality, it isn’t that simple, and the song explains: “Another ditch in the road, you keep moving. Another stop sign, you keep moving on. And the years go by so fast, wondering, ‘How’d I ever make it though?’” She continues to plow on, but she has to feed the children and she worries how they are going to make it through this living nightmare, and she checks into another hotel, with two beds and a coffee machine. She’s running out of money; she’s afraid she’ll have to go home. But you “keep moving on.”
This story is the perfect example of someone who still deals with her baggage but doesn’t cling to it. Nowhere does it say that she brings it up every chance she gets, nor does it say that she sits and pouts about it all the time, “poor me, poor me.” She identifies it, deals with it, and keeps moving on.
It is important to look at your emotions and resolve them.
Especially as a performer. Do not ignore them or martyr yourself. If you put yourself in those situations you are being insensitive to “you.” Once you’ve resolved your emotions, MOVE ON. Take a step forward and move on. Then take another step. Furthermore, by moving on, you allow room in your life for more tangible things, like people, events, daily tasks, and shows.
The first time you do this, you will learn how to portray emotions clearly onstage. BECAUSE:
You have to heal, fight, and find hope in front of everyone with every show.
If you don’t heal in reality, no one will believe you on stage.
This reminds me of a story: Instead of identifying his past relationship problems, dealing with them, and moving on, he dwells on them and fears new relationships, telling people that he just isn’t ready. He keeps reading self-help books and finding new labels for “what” he is. The poor dear doesn’t realize that by dwelling, he will never be “ready” for someone to make him happy. He needs to identify, resolve, and move on. Instead, he’s trying to put a label on it and accept the pain. No resolution.
Now it is your turn. It is time for you to take your “baggage”, look inside, taking everything out (identify). Deal with the problem so you only have to remember not re-live (resolve), and not need to bring it to the surface every 2.4 seconds (sarcasm), and take another step.
Keep moving on.