Everyone, everywhere has baggage. Whether it stems from getting burned by one major life event or a series of smaller-scale struggles, this weightiness exists within all of us, to varying degrees. But beyond these differences, there may be one universal reason why our baggage continues to add up and spill over into multiple aspects of our lives.
On a new episode of "Super Soul Sunday," screenwriter and author Tracey Jackson says we are too preoccupied with defending our mistakes instead of accepting them -- and that's the ultimate weight to carry.
"We spend so much time defending our mistakes, hiding from our mistakes, making excuses from our mistakes, and never just looking at them and going, 'Whoa, this is me. This is me. This is my mistake. I'm going to clean up my side of the street,'" she says.
Jackson appears on "Super Soul Sunday" along with Grammy-winning songwriter and recovering addict Paul Williams to discuss their new new book, Gratitude and Trust. (Watch Williams open up about what he lost -- and found -- in sobriety.) Jackson and Williams assert that everyone, not just addicts, can benefit from "recovery" and share six affirmations aimed at helping us free ourselves from our lives' negative patterns, one of which has to do with emotional baggage.
Assuming responsibility for our mistakes is an essential part of achieving personal freedom, they say. Without it, our emotional baggage continues to weigh us down -- and soon affects many other people around us.
"We do something which I call 'the emotional sherpa.' We carry around so much baggage of all the stuff we've done," Jackson says. "We carry it around and it's heavy, and we unload it onto others, which is completely unfair."
So, she says, the first step in lifting this weight is to stop making excuses for our mistakes. Instead, Jackson encourages people to view their mistakes in a completely different light.
"A mistake is... our best teacher," she says. "Just take them and go, 'I'm not a bad person. I made a mistake. And I've learned a lesson.
Tracey Jackson and Paul Williams' full interview with Oprah airs on "Super Soul Sunday" this Sunday, Nov. 16, on OWN at 11 a.m. ET, during which it also streams live on Oprah.com, Facebook.com/owntv and Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.