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We all have our own emotional baggage: Understand yours!
Emotional baggage refers to distasteful past experiences and negative emotions that can be overwhelming. It also denotes other people's clutter that seeps in when one doesn't enforce boundaries. As human beings we all carry a certain amount of "emotional baggage", though our bags differ from others.

The baggage is a product of  unresolved and/or unexamined psychological hurts which are internalized and develop  as fears that we may or may not be aware of. It conditions our mind to think in rigid and unrealistic ways.

This can result from direct, personal experiences of tragic loss (loss of - safety, self confidence in our abilities, personal qualities we value, death of a loved one  or trust in someone close to us). It can also come from more indirect experiences on a  societal level such as exposure to natural or man-made disasters. If we don't get rid of the emotional baggage, what impact can it have on future?

The pain and bitterness gets stored in our body, is projected onto the future and we pay  the price in form of repeating the hurtful, unhealthy pattern and being overly  emotional. Baggage can turn our lives into desperation, chronic misery or one long  nightmare. Emotional baggage causes stress, illness and unrest. It interferes and  repeatedly sabotages our happiness, composure, plans, commitments, reputation,  progress and accomplishments. It is difficult to move into the new space in our life  when we are burdened with old pain, fear and rejection. Why we don't let go?

Many people drag on and on because:

  1. The missing thing/person is the answer to their life and aspirations.
  2. They think a certain emotion/event is another person's responsibility, which is less
  3. demanding than forcing oneself to step out of the comfort zone and dare to visualize
  4. A setting where the mishaps are the results of the poor choices one makes.
  5. Releasing emotional baggage is painful and takes courage, involving a frustrating
  6. struggle between our hearts and minds, thinking one way, but feeling another.
  7. People, on the whole, prefer to ignore and bury them. Bearing the weight of
  8. emotions is an easily made choice.
  9. We are often taught to 'be strong', which is a temporary solution with serious drawbacks.

Identify what's holding you back? Ask yourself are you going to allow that hurt to
keep reverberating throughout your life? Are you ready to unpack your emotional
baggage? If YES, then here are some tips to give you a fresh start, say goodbye and
move beyond emotional impasses:

1. Become aware of your  baggage.
2. Mentally open and unpack the  suitcase. Write down all the hurts as  you unpack.
3. Express your emotions.  It's OK to let go off emotions.
4. Reflect on your relations. As you go  through life, it is easy to find others
who suffer from the same  "baggage" or who have a knack to  resurface old baggage.
5. Think about the pros and cons.  What problems does this pain cause  you? Does it affect your relationships, work or family?
6. Realize you have a choice. You can  only control your actions and  thoughts; and not of others.
7. Empathize. Put yourself in that  person's shoes. Try to understand  what could have happened in the  past to make him/her do what s/he  did?
8. Understand your responsibility. Try  to figure out how you could have  been partially responsible for what  happened.
9. Find closure. Forgive the person and  realize that in forgiveness, you are  allowing yourself to be happy and  move on.

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