The Verzuz battles have become a cultural staple over the last few months. Music lovers like myself have been tuned into what has now become an experience. The only female battle to date was between Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. That one was definitely a vibe. The ladies showed up in their braids, headwraps & hoop earrings, ready to witness greatness. Erykah and Jill did what they had to do for the culture.
After the battle, there was commentary for days. One of the most interesting conversations I came across was the interpretation of song lyrics as a grown woman versus a teen or even a woman in her young twenties. That brings me to Bag Lady…
Whew!! That song came out in 2000. I was a senior in high school. At that time, it was just a catchy bop - maybe a slight cautionary tale about “baggage” and how it can get in the way sometimes. But now, as a 37 year old woman who’s been through some thangs, I get what Erykah was trying to preach to us ladies 20 years ago. The term baggage is up for interpretation. It can be trauma, parental issues, broken relationships, even generational curses...anything that has taken away from the love you give yourself.
I found an article in which Badu talks about the lyrical content of the song. She basically says in the process of her healing, she realized she was holding onto more than she should - which was stunting her personal growth. You can read the interview here: https://www.hiponline.com/219/erykah-badu-interview.html
Just a few days ago, I was having a conversation about emotional baggage and how that can translate into literal baggage. As someone who carried multiple bags figuratively, I can speak to how this presents itself in the physical. Since I was a kid, I carried bags. The teaching staff at my elementary school used to joke that they thought I was homeless because I would come to school with all of these bags. Just bags of stuff that really served no purpose. I continued this trend into adulthood, picking up more bags along the way and not even realized that I was carrying so much. Erykah tried to warn me lol...she said “you gon' miss your bus; you can't hurry up, 'cause you got too much stuff”. Meaning by holding onto the past, I was missing out on the blessings of the present and future. I had to get out of my own way!
Through reactivating my relationship with God (due to some of my experiences I thought I was forgotten but Isaiah 43:1-2 affirms that was never the case) and the help of a great therapist, I was able to recognize the traumatic baggage that I was carrying and was able to begin “unpacking” - processing, forgiving, healing...whatever term you want to use for it - I am now doing the work. These days, my bags have gotten lighter - almost non-existent. In the literal sense, most days I don’t even carry a purse lol - just my wallet and the occasional fanny pack. I only carry a purse when I absolutely have to. And it's not so heavy to the point where it hurts my back!
I encourage you to evaluate what you're carrying in your bags. If it's starting to wear you down, then maybe it's time to unpack. I will continue to strive to "pack light" in an effort to show up as my best self.
Until next time...
- M.T. 😘✌🏾