Life After Divorce -- Unpack Your Bags

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Confession. I was never the girl that dreamed of my wedding. I always thought that brides were beautiful, but I didn’t fantasize about being a bride. I didn’t comb through wedding magazines or wonder about the man that I would marry. I’m not too sure why, I’ve just never been that girl.

When I got married, I was happy to do so. Being a bride was a wonderful feeling. I love fairy tales and romances. The wedding was not the thing that I focused on. It was the marriage part that worried me.

And now that the marriage is over, the marriage part still worries me. People ask me when and if I want to remarry. I’m not so sure that I want to and if I do, I don’t want to rush into anything. Marriage is something that I’m not so sure I have a grasp on.

I have baggage.

And I’m aware of it.

We all have those things that we hold on to. Those feelings and emotions that have served us throughout life, even if they were dysfunctional.

When we are seeking a relationship, we are focused on what we do want. We rarely talk about what we are bringing to the table ourselves. And we all have baggage. Residue that travels with us from life experiences in general. That load can be heavy after a while.

We all need to unpack at some point in time. Take an honest look at ourselves, when it comes to relationships and life in general.

I got married thinking that it would change my view on marriage. And for the most part it did, but looking back, I’m not sure that I was ever really completely sold on the idea. There was always a slight nagging in the back of my mind that kept me partially unavailable. No one else can unpack your bags for you. It’s a job that you have to do all on your own.

Here’s a few things that I’m learning in the process.

No one can love away the hurt. It’s up to you to manage your own issues. You can’t expect someone else to fill the voids, make things better, or make you happy.

Relationships are 100/100 NOT 50/50. Two whole people need to come together in a relationship, not two halves hoping to make one another whole.

Be open to your compliment, not someone to complete you. We are always looking for someone to provide the missing pieces or at least glue them back together. Instead, we should be open to someone who provides a level of balance in our lives.

Don’t be afraid to get rid of what’s not working. We clean out our closets. Why won’t we do the same with our lives? Why can’t we say “I always choose the same ‘type’ and that’s not working for me” and stop.

A prophet named Erykah Badu once told us that dragging around all of those bags would hurt your back. She suggested that you pack light. I couldn’t agree with her more.

MORE IN Divorce