What is baggage? In other terms it means bags with your stuff you carry when travelling. But, what if that luggage you carry in your bags is that emotional stress, hate, anger and resentment you live with every day of your life. Won’t it be heavy to keep carrying around!? Won’t the weight be draining and stressful to be weighing down your shoulders?
Think about it, I mean everybody has baggage from their past life myself included. It might be failed relationships, failed marriages, broken homes just to mention a few. It differs from one person to the next what they carry around deep down in their hearts or what they have experienced that triggers emotional issues.
Baggage is defined as unresolved issues of an emotional nature and as time goes on the emotions become detrimental to one’s life. So, where does this baggage come from? Personally, I have realised that most people tend to carry the negatives drawn from past experiences into future experiences, not only romantic but all kinds of relationship experiences even friendships and family. In doing so, we do not realise that we have already drawn a line of failure for future relationships and what chances of survival do they have, ZERO! After relationships fail, comes low self-esteem and self-blame that my relationships are failing because of who I am or what happened to me before.
One begins to self- question themselves, ‘Is something wrong with me?’ Do I deserve this?’ That inner thinking has to stop. I believe the issue is not the baggage but how it is handled. What am I trying to say? For example from my own personal experiences, I found a genuinely, loving and caring man in my life and just because the last one hurt me, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this one would do the same. It really created a lot of tension and uncertainties and unnecessary fights. But one day, it hit me hard and realised I was only pulling myself backwards and killing whatever good thing coming my way because of letting this ‘baggage’ control my emotions. I made a conscious decision that, I wasn’t going to let this baggage define me or affect my choices and decisions and trust me right now, I am the happiest girl in the world.
“Sometimes the past should be abandoned yes.
Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage”- Ita Jin
The most important question then would be how I dealt with this baggage of hurt and insecurities. First of all, it wasn’t easy, I mean I didn’t wake up cured but took it one day at a time. The important thing is I was aware of it; I owned it and handled it. Communication is the key and from what I have realised and gone through it really worked out for my life. It takes honesty to share deeply what’s going on. I came across a piece that mentioned that, most believe the “baggage” thinking breaks relationships but in some cases it actually is the lasting force that holds the relationship together. This is through communicating honestly. The intimate sharing of past events from the heart, and the decision to let the past stay in the past and knowing it ended for a reason and of course to achieve the ultimate goal of moving forward. Basically what I am trying to say is, baggage can either break you or make you. If you let it control your life, it will for sure and you won’t even know where the brakes are. But on the other hand something positive can come out of the realisation of your baggage and taking steps to handle it.
According to an author by the name Lila Warnoke there are ways she came up with to deal with baggage and hope they may be useful to someone who is struggling to let go.
1. Write down an honest list of thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that weigh you down
2. Reflect on each item and identify the source of thought or belief e.g. fear of relationships because an ex- partner cheated and hurt you. Acknowledge the painful memories and don’t wallow in them
3. Find at least one positive in each hurtful experience, I mean yes you might have been hurt but it doesn’t mean you have nada happy memories. Decide what you take from those positive experiences
4. Create affirmations to foster change and counteract negative thoughts e.g. I will speak with love, I choose happiness, I chose my future etc.
5. Practice patience and mindfulness because deep rooted habits take time to be changed and you find your identity in places you been hurt or in your scars and wounds.
I Hope this article will speak to someone and help them let go of the past experiences that are haunting their future. Let the past stay in the past and let the future flourish