You wouldn’t believe the amount of baggage we carry with us through adulthood. Issues that we thought we had put behind us, separated by years of life experience (and possibly therapy) still have a way of popping up and haunting us when we least expect it.
Take the case of a 30-something woman who continually entered into relationships with men who had addictive personalities. With each of them, she found herself staging interventions (some successful, some not), arranging rehab care and, in essence, attempting to fix their problems. When a friend pointed out that this pattern of trying to fix problems that can’t be fixed is unhealthy, it was the first time she even realized that she’d been repeating such behavior.
Upon reflection, she came to the conclusion that this issue originated in childhood, when her mother had become addicted to alcohol and she had fallen into the habit of taking care of the household and her younger siblings while her mom slept off the aftereffects of having been soused. Her mother refused to accept professional help – or even attend AA meetings – and died early from an enlarged liver that had become cancerous.
Ultimately, this young woman connected the dots… ever since she had “failed” to save her mother, she had entered into relationships subconsciously hoping that she might be able to save her new partners. “Once I realized that these issues were connected, it was like a load was lifted off my chest. Now that I’m in my thirties, I understand my motivation better and can step back and assess my history. I was hurting myself every time I dated these men – and they were none the better for it, either.”
The emotional baggage she’d been clinging to evaporated with this new awareness, and she was able to meet – and marry – a bright, hard-working, thoughtful and non-addicted man. “I never would have considered him had I not seen the obvious regarding my past decisions. What a relief!” she says now. For her, it was fairly simple to rid herself of her emotional baggage. Sometimes, however, it isn’t quite so easy:
Another woman had had a seizure. She had no history of seizures of either drug use or an injury that may have led to her seizure. However, she did have enormous stress, particularly about her finances. She had just lost her job, and was worried that she and her husband might soon lose their home as a result of not having the funds to cover the mortgage. She began to get panic attacks every time she thought about their financial situation, and then one night, she had a grand mal seizure. Although she recovered from the seizure, she hadn’t associated it with the panic attacks.
She was put on medication temporarily to prevent a further attack, but it affected her moods and slowed her creativity. Frustrated, she wasn’t sure where to turn for help. Finally, her husband jokingly mentioned that it sounded like she could hear her mother’s voice in her head, telling her that she was going to lose her house.
“It was the weirdest thing – he was just kidding, but that’s when I realized that this was exactly what was happening. I flashed back to when I was about 10 years old, and my parents’ decorating store was going out of business. I remember my mom standing at the bottom of the stairs and calling up to us kids that we couldn’t spend any money on anything because we were going to lose the store and next, we might lose our house. I was replaying that old message in my mind all those years later…and it was literally making me sick.”
With this knowledge, she found ways to relax and de-stress on a daily basis to stave off further panic attacks or seizures. She now makes time every day to exercise, incorporates deep-breathing exercises into her schedule, and has been seizure-free for nearly a decade. “It’s amazing that this one sentence, said to me over 30 years ago, still resonated so strongly that it could affect me like this,” she remarks. But it’s no wonder, emotional baggage is essentially baggage that’s been lost in transit, only to be delivered when we least expect it (sometimes, over and over again).
Open your bags
The best way to deal with emotional baggage is to first confront it: What is a recurring problem or issue that you haven’t been able to shake? Consider its origins: When was your first encounter with something of this nature? Then work to rid yourself of it by talking about it with a therapist, friend or family member. What do you remember about it? How did it make you feel? How are you repeating the same behavior now, and what can you do to modify this behavior?
Once you’re able to accomplish those steps and are no longer repeating patterns that cause you harm, you will have dropped off your emotional baggage forever and diminished your stress level immeasurably – rendering you happier, healthier and unburdened!
Are you stuck in any old thought patterns? Get a psychic reading to clear your way. Call 1.800.573.4830
or click here