Have you ever noticed that when you don’t deal with your emotions they come back to bite you in the ass? Have you noticed that when you get them out, they dissipate and change? Holding onto things – even if they seem to have gone away – leads to health problems, emotional issues and crazy reactions to the smallest thing out of nowhere. It can build up and become heavy, like a whole lot of baggage.
It may even cause you to consider “accidents” for the offending party. “Oops, I “forgot” to do the laundry.” Oh, sorry, was I being passive aggressive?” “Was that your foot?”
When I was married my ex and I made a deal. I would cook. He would do dishes. Seems pretty simple. It was, except for the fact that it didn’t happen. I kept my part of the bargain and yet nearly every day I had to wash the pots so I could make that day’s dinner. There would be days of dishes piled up then I would snap and either scream, give the silent treatment, go on strike or just give in and do it myself.
Now, I’m with a new partner and. although not nearly as bad, sometimes similar things happen. It brings up all the old emotions from that other relationship. My anger and resentment can become magnified because the original hurt and feelings of betrayal weren’t dealt with properly and fully.
What can I – and you – do to make sure each situation is dealt with cleanly and without baggage from past emotions?
Here are my tips for living baggage free:
- Know what you need and learn to ask for it cleanly and clearly. Often we think we’re being clear but the other person has no idea why you’re getting upset. When this happens, check in and keep working at it until the other person really gets what you’re saying. You may need to be creative about how you say it. Don’t keep saying the same thing the same way over and over – obviously it’s not working.
- Fully express whatever emotion you’re feeling. We’re told not to be angry. Yet sometimes we just feel angry. We don’t want to be needy. Yet sometimes we are in deep need. We don’t like feeling sad so we try to cover it up. We have all kinds of reasons to hold in our emotions. Can you feel that baggage getting heavier? There are many ways to get your emotions out. We’ll explore some of these later this month.
- Be present. In order to know what you need and to fully express your emotion, you need to know what you need and how you feel. Check in. Breath. Take a moment to really get clear. Only then can you communicate.
It may seem simple. If it was, we wouldn’t be carrying around baggage. It takes practice. It takes effort. It requires being vulnerable.
Do you want to keep having irrational reactions to situations and people?
Do you want to feel unhappy and unheard?
Do you want to keep looking for better relationships that seem to have the same problems as the last ones?
Do you want to keep holding onto past hurts, past indiscretions, past miscommunication?
Or would you rather:
Have strong relationships with clear boundaries and open communication?
Have an open heart that feels things fully and completely – happy and sad?
Live free of making the same mistakes over and over?
Feel heard, loved and appreciated for who you are?
It’s up to you now. Go forward as you choose. With heavy, and getting heavier, baggage or light as a feather. I know what my choice is!
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty