Emotional baggage is an everyday expression that correlates with many people; it generally relates to unresolved issues that people are carrying around from year to year without resolution that you have allowed to fester and become a part of your everyday life and who you are.
Emotional baggage is a state of mind/being in which you refuse to let things go and move forward for the betterment of your life, and not focus on where you’ve come from or you’ve been.
If you’re depressed, guilty, angry, fearful, or any other hang-ups that’s hindering you, you may be in an emotional state that stemmed from something that happened to you in the past. Nine times out of ten, that’s an implication that you are carrying around emotional baggage; which can soon become a hindrance to your personal growth/development and can be detrimental to your health, life and the people who are around you.
As a metaphorical image, it is that of carrying all the disappointments, wrongs, and trauma of the past, around in one heavy load.
In adult life, emotional baggage comes in two main forms.
- First, there are the often negative expectations created by previous relationships, perhaps of an abusive nature—a kind of bondage to the past that can contaminate new and potentially more positive interactions.
- The second type of memories contributing to adult emotional baggage are recurrent bringing-up of the history of the current relationship, with the result that minor problems in the present become overloaded by negative currents from earlier times which cannot be resolved or set aside for good.
Behind adult problems, however, there may be deeper forms of emotional baggage rooted in the experiences of childhood, but continuing to trouble personality and behavior within the adult.
- Men and women may be unable to leave the pain of childhood behind, and look to their partners to fix this, rather than to address more adult concerns.
- Cultural and parental expectations, and patterns of behavior drawn from the family of origin and still unconsciously carried around, will impact on a new marriage in ways neither partner may be aware of.
- Similarly, as parents, both sexes may find their own childhood pasts hampering their efforts at more constructive child-rearing, whether they repeat, or seek to overcompensate for, parental patterns of the past.
These are just a few familiar points; but I come to tell you today…….
BAGGAGE, LUGGAGE, GARBAGE BAGS, SHOPPING SAVE BAGS, DUFFLE BAGS, OVER SIZED BACK PACKS and/or 2 TON HANDBAGS all at the door.
The funny thing is that we don’t thing we have baggage!
I can hear people now…
“Did she say check my baggage; I ain’t got no baggage to check; maybe she need to check her own baggage!” LOL!!! “Ain’t Got No!” IJS! Grammar all wrong, and so is what you think you ain’t got!!! Ohhh, cause we all got baggage, some a bit more than others, but we all got it.
It’s always… “It’s them, not me. It’s their fault, this relationship didn’t work out.”
Have you ever just considered the fact, that it might just be you and not them?
Then you wonder why he/she stop calling!
It wasn’t the fact that your eyebrows where drawn on too thick, or the fact that your eyelashes looked like spiders and/or the fact that your weave frizzed up at the sight of water and was weighing you down because it was 32 inches long.
NO! The reason why he stop calling and what is really weighing you down, is all that emotional baggage, you carrying around.
And just so I’m clear; right now, I’m talking to my Ladies, I’ll get to the men shortly! But Ladies, I’m talking to you right now, because I understand!
Trust me. I’ve been there. And if you don’t think you have, check my list below of the 5 ways you can tell if you have emotional baggage or not! I’m sure out of 5 you will have at least 3 that you can claim.
- Low Relationship-Esteem.
- You riddle your relationship with self-doubt. You can’t find the good in yourself so you can’t find the good in your relationships, and I’m not just speaking of intimate relationships, I’m talking all relationships, period. Business, Friendships, Partnership, etc.
- You’re Paranoid.
- You stay on the watch out for hurt; a bit suspicious, about what could happen to ruin the relationships and you have little trust in the person, without reason; especially if you’ve been burned in the past. But in order for a relationship to work, you have to trust each other. Paranoid!
- You Compare Your Current Relationship To Past Ones.
- This goes beyond simple paranoia. It’s more subtle and insidious. You find yourself when you inter into new relationships, pointing out similarities and/or almost similar character traits, personality traits, etc. in the new relationship and base it on the previous relationship; especially if the previous relationship was an abusive one. But what’s crazy is that it may not even be similar traits; it may all be in your conditioned mind. You consistently find yourself forming new unfulfilled relationships simply because of unfortunate similarities that you equate to be equal to the past relationship. It’s so important that we don’t filter our past relationships into our current ones and only focus on the relationship at hand
- You Throw Up The Wall Of… “Won’t Happen!”
- This is so unhealthy; not just for the relationship but for you as a person, who is trapped behind this wall, with no intentions on ever getting over it! Holding back emotions, feelings, and/or love and reliving the painful events from the past in ways that it affects your present, is not going to get you over the wall! This can only keep relationships stagnant and keep you trapped in your pain! “It won’t happen to me no more!” Repeats it’s self over and over again in your mind, until the relationship is diminished and you find yourself searching for another one! And it repeats and repeats and repeats!!!
- Commitment Phoebe.
- So now that you have decided to scale the wall a bit! Not quite over it because now it’s something else, COMMITMENT ISSUES! Commitment-phoebes are everywhere, and you don’t just have to be carry around emotional baggage to be one; but that’s a whole other article. However, in many cases, the fear of tying oneself down can be indicative of a deeper problem. If you’re not giving any of your relationships half a chance, it’s time to do some soul-searching. There’s nothing wrong with being single, but is it what you really want? And if it’s not, what’s making you hesitate when you come across the possibility of love?
Okay, so now we are going to walk through ways that may assist you in getting over the wall and letting go of the baggage because after all; it’s all that baggage that weighing you down and hindering your ability to climb in an effort to get over it!!!
Step 1: Identify and Sever the Root
This step requires complete honesty, a willingness to dig deep and openly face your issues. For example, do you have a temper to the point that you throw things, slam doors or worse? Obviously, the temper needs to be dealt with, but more importantly, you need to discover what lies behind the temper. Maybe you have an addiction that you’re reluctant to face such as gambling, sexual addiction, drugs/alcohol and/or perhaps you’re a shopaholic. Whatever the issue, you must be able, willing and ready to face it head on, in an effort to be cured! All these additions are just temporary-fix magnesium to cover up or diminish the problem; the problem that has been going since you were a child; that is now deep rooted and needs to be completely dug up. That’s the only way it’s going to die. You can cut it down, over and over again but if it’s not up-rooted, it’s going to still be there and pop up over and over again.
Step 2: Take Responsibility And Stop Blaming Others.
“Momma didn’t do this, daddy didn’t do that, my uncle treated me this way, my aunt spanked me; that man cheated on me; that’s why I’m like this. This is who they made me out to be, this is who I am!” It’s so much easier to go through life blaming our problems on others including ourselves. “I’m too fat, I can’t do it, I’ don’t know how!” But eventually you have to take responsibility for your life, your actions and your emotions. If this is you talking… STOP IT RIGHT NOW! IT’S OVER, NO MORE! SNAP OUT OF IT! Your life will never get better and you will never move forward until you break the blame chain.
Step 3: Forgive and Focus
It is crucial that you reach a point where you can truly let go of the hurt that you have experienced. “No matter how violent it was, how deep it was, how prolonged it was, no matter how much affect there’s been on your life, if you do not extend forgiveness and get focus on bettering you; you are the only person who will be stuck in bitterness and revenge city. Let go of the past and let go of the pain; forgive those who have wrong you and move forward in you purpose, even if you look in the mirror and realize that the person you had to forgive was actually you!
I ask you all today to take charge over your baggage, think about how carrying all that unnecessary garbage will hinder your life (because that’s all it is, is GARBAGE) and choose to be free! It’s your choice!
So now that all of that is over; let’s do a baggage check and really see how much of our baggage is weighing us down by taking this quiz that I found at… http://www.livehappy.com/self/quizzes/quiz-how-much-emotional-baggage-do-you-carry
It’s called the “Live Happy Emotional Baggage Quiz” See below! This is a perfect way to get a better understanding of where you are emotionally when dealing with all the baggage you’re totting around!
Let’s get started!!! Once you tally your answers, don’t be discourage; be encourage because this is a start to your new season; just by reading this article I’m sure you drop a baggage load already and after this quiz; you’ll be encouraged to drop more! Remember there’s always something we have to overcome but we don’t face our issues alone. God is with us and He’s already paid the price for it, so take it to the cross!
Hebrews 12:2-3 New International Version (NIV)
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- When it comes to situations that remind me of negative experiences…
A. I avoid or shy away from these situations.
B. I am not very aware when these situations happen, or I brush them under the rug.
C. I try my best to face them head-on whenever possible.
- When I see something uncomfortable that I’m worried will affect me emotionally…
A. I immediately (consciously or unconsciously) put up an emotional wall so I will not feel the full impact.
B. I don’t notice when these are about to happen.
C. I do what I can to prepare, then I deal with the impact by taking care of my feelings or the situation.
3. When it comes to trusting people…
A. My philosophy is that people aren’t trustworthy unless they have truly proven to be so.
B. When it comes to trust, I don’t pay much attention.
C. I do my best to be open, but will put my guard up as needed if someone appears to be untrustworthy.
- If I am dealing with other people and they push my buttons or stir up old emotions…
A. I run away or distance myself completely.
B. I ignore it or distract myself.
C. I do my best to educate myself and the other person (if possible) so that we can both be conscious and cautious about it.
- When thinking about myself and emotional health…
A. I view myself as damaged, troubled or in a place where my feelings would be hard to repair.
B. I don’t evaluate my emotional health.
C. I see my strengths and weaknesses. I try to focus on improving what I can.
- The emotional baggage that was caused by other people in my life makes me feel…
A. Resentful, angry and/or emotional toward them.
B. I don’t even want to think about that.
C. No matter what I am feeling, I do my best to understand it and heal so I can move forward in a healthier way.
If most of the answers that you chose were the letter “A,” you have a hard time dealing with your emotional burdens. Your tendency is to react negatively by withdrawing, feeling hopeless or behaving angrily. If you tend to handle your baggage this way, you may tend to feel anxious, isolated, angry, resentful, depressed and even lonely. It is important for you to find a sense of hope and a willingness to heal from whatever in your past is troubling you. Seek support and guidance from experts, professionals and your support system.
If most of your answers were the letter “B,” you are someone who tends to brush issues under the rug and avoid working on situations. You might try to fool yourself into thinking that your baggage doesn’t need to be dealt with. People who are like this often find themselves caught off guard because they don’t see things coming. They can have emotional reactions that they do not know how to deal with, and they will tend to lack the skills and tools to learn from past struggles. If you answered with many responses in this category, you need to gently learn to re-engage in your life so that you can learn and grow. You also need to work on coping skills to face what makes you uncomfortable.
If most of your answers were letter “C,” you are doing a good job of being aware of your emotional baggage and do your best to try to manage it in a healthy way. You are not afraid to look for the truth in situations and are open to trying new experiences. You tend to be hopeful, optimistic and growth-oriented.
I hope that this article, along with quiz has been of some help to you and that your BAGS HAVE BEEN CHECKED!