I doubt that there is anyone on this earth who can claim to have no emotional baggage, but there’s baggage and there’s baggage.
The idea of emotional baggage is basically just a metaphor for the heavy experiences we have collected that we carry around. The label emotional baggage implies something external to ourselves and something we shouldn’t be carrying. Baggage is meant to be unpacked, dealt with, and put away or resolved. We all come with some baggage. But, the moment that it becomes an obstacle to your personal happiness or your relationship, you’ve got more than baggage. You’ve got problems.
The problem most of us have is not that we have emotional baggage. The problem is that we let our emotional baggage rule our lives. Some of us carry 5 suitcases of pain and bitterness while some of us just have one tiny bag. Carrying too much emotional baggage can literally prevent you from being open to new people, experiences, intimacy, and growth.
Emotional baggage is what happened to you in your past relationships that now directly affects your current and future happiness and it can manifest differently for each of us. By not being able to let a past experience go, you’re continually weighed down by an array of scenarios that never seem to resolve. Like the metaphor implies, if emotional baggage and negative experiences are weighing you down or stopping you from being in a healthy relationship, how can you let the dead weight from your past go and prevent your emotional baggage from seeping into every aspect of your daily life? “Don’t get used to the comfortable discomfort. For a limited amount of time, let yourself sit with the feelings you’re always running from and feel the uncomfortable feelings,” says psychotherapist and relationship expert Sherry Amatenstein. “If we don’t allow ourselves to feel those uncomfortable feelings, they take over.”
Tonight on Jewish Singles Radio, Sherry Amatenstein shares practical tips and lessons on love and romance, based on the real-life experiences of couples whose relationships went wrong, and offers advice on how to deal with our emotional baggage.
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