I used to think that carrying emotional baggage with me from previous experiences in my life would prevent me from experiencing those awful things again. I mean, by carrying around all the negative experiences you’ve ever been through in relationships (romantic and otherwise), and building a wall to prevent it from happening again seemed like the best option to protect my heart…
I had tried being an “open book” and having a “big heart” and “treating others as I want to be treated”. However, in my mind, all I got in return was a broken heart. This is not to say that I was perfect in the relationship, as I’m sure I did my share of wrongdoings, but I just couldn’t figure out why I’d put in so much effort, love so hard, care so much about people, only to have them hurt me in the long run.
IT WAS EXHAUSTING…
So I subconsciously kept a mental Rolodex of every negative encounter I’d ever experienced with others. For every friend that did me wrong, every ex-boyfriend that made me cry, every family member who betrayed my trust, that was another “item” I packed in my bag and carried with me. This way, the moment I started to see those experiences or signs of those experiences manifesting, I could easily prepare myself. My plan was to
Build a wall around my heart so no one could access it
Control everything and everyone so I’m prepared for the outcome
Be defensive so no one can point out flaws or touch on my insecurities
Assume the worst in everyone so I wouldn’t be disappointed WHEN I was let down
It Worked… Or So I Thought
For years on in I went through each relationship with this baggage from my past and a game plan to prevent others from adding onto those negative experiences. Yet what I found was that after years and years of carrying around this emotional baggage, I was being weighed down. I was not traveling through life as light as I once did when I was a child, an adolescent, a teenager, or even a young adult.
The craziest part of it all…. somehow, no matter how much “planning” I did to protect my heart and eliminate negative experiences in relationships, I still ended up with more emotional baggage once the relationships would end.
Relationships weren’t as authentic because I wasn’t opening up, I wasn’t being me. I wasn’t investing in the relationship, I was dedicating all my time, energy, and effort to when the relationship fell apart. Soon, I just gave up on dealing with people altogether. It just seemed easier.
I Was Broken and Weighted Down.
My heart felt as if it couldn’t take anymore. Oddly enough, my body even began to feel weak. I went into isolation – which left me feeling alone. Then I felt like no one cared that I was alone. Which led to resentment and anger.
It took my marriage hitting rock bottom, my daughter pointing out I didn’t really make friends, and my emotions to be all over the place (happy one minute, sad and lonely the next, angry and resentful the next), for me to decide it was time to unpack this emotional baggage I was carrying around and pack light.
While I’m still “unpacking” I must say that letting go of the emotional baggage of my past has allowed me to experience life through a new set of eyes. See the bigger picture. Realize the faults in myself. Pick up the pieces, and by the grace of God, carry on willing to go through each experience, knowing that good or bad it will only add to my greatness and the life that God has planned for me.
Has emotional baggage caused you emotional or physical pain?
What did it take for you to realize it was time to let it go?
What are some things you did to unpack your baggage?
On my next post, I’ll be discussing how I began to unpack my baggage. Until then, #stayblessed #staybeautiful.