Emotional baggage weighs you down, making life less joyful. You remember the past for reference; it helps you judge where to go next. However, painful histories often repeat like rotten eggs; once consumed, they come back to haunt you, making you ill. When you learn to let go, you feel lighter physically and mentally.
Identify your patterns of thought
Going over challenges is useful, to a point; somewhere along the journey, you can get stuck, never discovering answers or gaining insights. Such contemplation turns memories into emotional angst. Sometimes, you might get attached to the pain you lug around; you’re so used to it that the idea of dropping it doesn’t occur to you. There’s also a sense of comfort, however strange, in hanging on to difficulties you know inside and out. They become part of you and your story. Nonetheless, they stop you moving on and being happy.
To identify a pattern of thought, examine those worries that often pop into your head. You repeat them regularly, perhaps several times a week or on and off each day. Such thoughts serve as negative affirmations; you constantly affirm the sad tales you tell yourself by layering them in your psyche. You carry all that load with you all the time.
Once you’ve identified the baggage, you need to slowly let it go. Just recognizing that painful memories you carry are in the past and no longer serve you in the present, is a good start. Also, understanding why you’ve dragged them with you into the present might be helpful. Did you hang on to them hoping to figure out why events happened or because you felt justified in carrying pain to show what you endured?
Realize that you can’t change the past, but you can learn from it and release discomfort. Consider the lessons that the difficulties you’ve faced delivered. Maybe, you’re stronger, wiser, or more discerning now. You want to keep the positive aspects of your experiences, your insights; apart from these, there’s nothing worthwhile in your emotional baggage.
Go over the positive lessons painful memories have taught you. Make them larger in your mind than events that hurt you. Focus your thoughts on the wisdom you’ve picked up and how it aids you. As you do so, the pain will take second place and begin to fade. You might picture any remaining discomfort whooshing away as though a strong wind blasts through your mind.
Later, if unwanted thoughts arise, repeat the exercise, focusing on wisdom and seeing pain leave. Nonetheless, your baggage will take a while to put down. Repeatedly think about the insights you gained, every time old memories resurface until they dominate your mind.
Unwanted memories can be released. Identify them, and recognize why you’ve lugged them around and that they aren’t useful anymore. Consider the wisdom and strength stressful events that have plagued you provide, and make that your point of focus. Picture discomfort leaving your mind, and replace old unwanted thoughts with positive ones. One day, you’ll notice you feel lighter and happier, and your emotional baggage will have gone.
By Rafael Tomik