We all have emotional baggage we carry around from previous relationship – whether we admit it or not. What is emotional baggage, basically it’s any unpleasant memories, mistrust and hurt previous relationships have forced upon us. Some relationships we leave neutral, or happy, others leave a lasting impression like a swift kick in the ass. Do I have emotional baggage? Hell yes! Very unpleasant emotional baggage stemming from my divorce mainly, but other failed relationships have left an unpleasant taste in my mouth as well. They all weigh heavily on me and without a doubt affect my ability to function properly in other relationships. Over time I have most certainly shed a lot of the baggage I have, but I do keep some hanging on, more as protection than anything else. Think about some of the baggage you have, are they essential or just a protection mechanism to hold on to? I had to do some reflecting on my own in order to shed some emotional weight.
Is emotional baggage healthy? I think so. It’s our way of dealing with what happened to us. Let me explain. The baggage we take with us teaches us about what could potentially happen to us and how we got hurt, so we don’t get into those sorts of situations again. It’s normal and completely healthy. What isn’t normal is holding on to it longer than you need it. The baggage serves to assist us in healing, not to encourage distrust and pushing people away. That isn’t healthy. How to do you shed it without losing your dignity? Well, you need to take from it what you need to learn and throw it away. For example, my baggage from my marriage that I recently threw away was that I cannot trust men because they act one way when they are wooing you and when they have you act a different way. Perhaps that is true, but it’s no reason to reject someone because they are being nice, which is what I was doing. So I held on to the “be vigilant” garment and shed the luggage. I admit, I still hold onto the “I won’t settle” luggage, but that one will stay with me for a very long time … it’s kind of like a permanent attachment!
One final thought … everyone has baggage, don’t let them convince you otherwise, but when you meet a potential partner make sure your set of baggage matches their set of baggage or else you will be stuck in a big emotional baggage fashion faux pas! And I won’t have any of that!
Stirring the Dating Sauce,
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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