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8 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Apologize For Your Emotional Baggage

There is one kind of baggage that you just cannot check. Emotional baggage. And yet, all of us – yep, you read that right, each one of us – lug it around, unable to walk under its enormous weight, it’s heavy chains shackled to our ankles, making every step of the journey a million times difficult than it’d be if we were to wheel the darned thing around. And if that weren’t enough, the ground we tread on, more often than not, turns into quicksand (sometimes in a mirage, and sometimes, for real), threatening to sink us into the haunted past we constantly strive to keep at bay.

woman thinking (2)

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Yet, those ghosts remain – surfacing ever-so-often to slow our already sluggish pace by loading our heavy emotional baggage with some more items that break us and bring us crumbling to the ground, sinking us deeper and deeper into the murky waters of the past, the scary rubble of the things we’d long since tried to bury, and the haunted mausoleum of the places, things, and relationships we’d long witnessed the death of.

So what is emotional baggage?

Any unresolved issue of an emotional nature, often with an implication that it is detrimental to our growth as individuals is deemed emotional baggage. But I have a problem with this definition – is it really all that bad? Are those battered suitcases with an avalanche-load of unprocessed emotions really bad?  Nope. They aren’t. The problem isn’t the emotional baggage. The problem is the inability to claim the baggage, sift through it – stop dragging the negative and hurtful feelings by letting go, kissing them goodbye, and only carrying along the usable elements.

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And it is in our desperation to check our emotional baggage and never claim it at the baggage hall that an even bigger problem lies. We shall learn to ease the load, by and by, as we continue to taste the treats of life, drink off it’s vital vial, skirt it’s spirit, hold its heartbeats, and breathe its BEST! That experiential journey shall enable us to be strong enough to shirk off the weight, release it, and kiss it adieu. But until then, we must learn to tow it about, with exceptional dignity and pride. There is no shame in being human, for our human condition entails an inevitable ‘stuffing down’ of things that were beyond our capability to deal with in the past – some unpleasant emotions, some difficult memories, some failures, some violent events – and they have only grown that we are still too frail to face them now!

woman contemplating

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So, why the shame? Why the hiding? Why the hang-up?

We all have our emotional baggage – big or small – that we should stop making excuses for. It is in the complexity of human nature – our innate ability to feel it all, be aware of feeling it and owning it, that we are HUMAN, and above all, special! So today, I want to let all you special humans know why you should stop being sorry for your emotional baggage, beginning NOW:

1. Emotional baggage has had a part in making you YOU

woman smiling15

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Whatever experiences have gone into the baggage you are so tired of lugging around are also the very same ones that have added the hues (howsoever blinding or howsoever subtle and pleasing) onto the blank canvas of your life. As such, they have shaped your being and are part of your identity. You’d do worse to disown them and fool yourself into thinking they have nothing to do with you. Embrace them, feel the strokes of the brush where they touched you, and love the crude paint-lumps as much as the smooth texture of those oil paints!

2. People will always judge, no matter what

woman thinking

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People are here to judge. They will brand your baggage from previous relationships, and discuss all the nooks and crannies, whilst advertising them over tea parties, luncheons, brunches or even sleepovers! That’s what people do. But they haven’t seen the battle-wounds you keep from oozing blood with mere duct tape. So, why depend on them to supply some healing ointment? Do not care a fig.

3. Living the REAL is far better than existing in the illusory

woman thinking

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Whatever it is that you feel in the moment- jealousy, insecurity, vulnerability, hurt, anger or anything else, FEEL it. Trying to mask your true emotions and wearing some others is exhausting, and shall only add to that invisible weight you carry on your shoulders. Being true to your feelings will help you deal with the REAL better. Yes, your coping strategies and/or your reactions may not always be the optimal ones but they will save you from the exasperation of living a lie. Truth be told, when you deal with them, you will be aware of why you are being angry or upset or *whatever* about it – you will be better placed to face it. Ask yourself if your reaction stems from the present or the past? What is happening to you at the moment? And what can you do to take care of yourself and the situation? You will experience a positive spurt of energy like never before.

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4. It takes courage and strength to own it. BE strong

woman thinking

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Your baggage was deadly and you made it through – in one piece. Wear those marks like proud badges of honor. Be dauntless in your pursuit of life and love, unafraid to flaunt your baggage – for it remains a breathing nominal of all you have survived, the wisdom you have gained, and the courage you bear! Not everybody can do it. But you, my friend, as already pointed out, are SPECIAL!

5. Half of it isn’t in your control, so why bother?

woman blowing bubbles

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Human life is like this. We do not and cannot control all that happens in those Ferris wheel rides of the clock! You aren’t responsible for traumatic incidents you were subjected to or some life-altering decisions other people took. You aren’t responsible for other people’s actions and not accountable for things that transpired because they were outside of your agency! So, loosen up and don’t weigh yourself down with the unnecessary loads.

6. Unpacking is NOT a bad idea at all

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Do not be afraid to lay down your baggage and scour through its contents. Yes, you may be subjected to the pain, the angst, the dread of it all, but you may find invaluable lessons tucked away in some small pouch at the bottom. And it is in them that your victory lies. Remember the adage ‘all things happen for a reason,’ and herein lies yours. Take them along with you, on your journey henceforth.

7. It is an unexplored path to self-discovery

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Unpacking your emotional baggage may unravel several facets of you that you had hithertofore failed to see. You may be able to see your worth clearly but also see your flaws in a clearer light. This perspicacity shall set you on the path to self-discovery and your journey onward can only be destined for self-actualization. Good luck!

8. And it will make you better

woman smiling

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And once you are there, you will be a better person. Of course, it is a never-ending process for us humans, but hey, at least, it’s a start!

So, are you here to claim your emotional baggage? Me too! :)

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Emotional Baggage: Why You Should Never Apologize For It
The one baggage you cannot check and the ONE baggage that you really want to. Read on to find why emotional baggage isn't all BAD.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."