Come on! Let’s go on a journey—a long, long journey through heavenly meadows and choppy storms. The only thing you have when you start is a backpack. You get to fill it with everything you want as reminders to your past experiences. It can be the traumas of your bad experiences or the tools and assets that you gain along the way.
But you must be mindful. You carry this backpack throughout, and depending on what you fill it with, it’s going to weigh you down. You’ll have to leave behind stuff holding you back if you intend to travel a path of happiness and success. Otherwise, the chains of the past will drag you back to those unpleasant chapters of your journey again and again.
You need to cut down unnecessary ties that are holding you back. With time these insecurities, toxic relations, emotional traumas, and regrets fall more profound into your baggage, cementing their existence in your lives. The point is everyone carries their share of weight in this journey of life. Then how can you tell if someone has emotional baggage?
There are a few characteristics mutual to those that show signs of emotional baggage. Are you one of them?
A Good Night Sleep Is A Notion Unknown To You
The very first signs of emotional baggage are unhealthy sleeping patterns. You need to know the difference between constructive hard times and unhealthy emotional lingering. Hardships are temporary phases, and that’s what they should be.
A good night’s sleep is what you need to wash over your daily exhaustion. But if it doesn’t, you’ve probably got skeletons hiding in your closet that don’t let you sleep well. Whether it’s sleeping in till late or having insomniac phases, you need to let those skeletons out.
You Have an Unclear Definition of Yourself
We often say that our pasts define us, or we are what we have experienced in life. What we fail to realize is that many let their insecurities and regrets and guilt be the definition of their being. At any point in our journey, our items in the backpack we carry formulate an image of ourselves.
People carrying emotional baggage often have undefined boundaries. They do not recognize their wants and needs, exerting themselves beyond their capacity, and neglecting their basic self-care requirements. This is because they let themselves be tied down to unhealthy experiences.
Carrying emotional baggage also tends to weigh you down because it’s like a parasite for your sentiments and emotions. It continually drains you of emotions. Children that have an emotionally neglected childhood often tend to carry this emotional baggage into adulthood.
There seems to be a deprivation, lacking in their ability to express emotions. They either tend to be overly-emotional or sometimes overcome by an insensitive numbness to everything.
What Does Baggage Mean In a Relationship
When your emotional ability is already expended on past irrelevant experiences, you are left with only the scraps and leftovers to offer to your partner. Your inability to be enough for your partner can lead to frustration and inevitably abusive and violent tendencies.
On the other hand, you may be drawn to toxic personalities because you’ve become so accustomed to the flawed nature of life. You start believing that this is where you belong. The fear of commitment also roots from your past emotional attachments.
One of the significant signs of emotional baggage is your poor decision-making. Your overworked mind has irrelevant tabs running in the background. These often hinder your judgments. The decisions could be as minor as deciding upon where to sit in a seminar hall.
The damaged self-confidence will always make you feel as if none of your decisions are ever right. You see yourself incapable of deciding in your favor. This often makes you a dormant and passive person who would rather stay put with life than question stuff and take risks.
Uneasiness, Regret and Guilt
Your emotional baggage is heavier than most burdens, mostly because they’re unresolved issues in your life. Imagine reading a book with a few pages of a chapter missing. Even if those details aren’t important, you’ll forever feel an uneasiness as if you haven’t made peace with your internal conflicts.
These unresolved chapters in our life, later on, manifest into darker emotions like guilt and regret. You start blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong. You involuntarily adopt an apologetic behavior towards anything and everything.
Nothing Seems to Excite or Satisfy You
This particular sign of emotional baggage goes unsaid. Being drained of emotions, feeling neglected and insecure about everything tends to make you a walking talking lifeless being. When you are tied down to your past, you are pulled back to those times. How can one procure a happy future when they’re still in the past?
Living in the past means making the same unhealthy choices over and over again, like dating people with similar traits, treating your children the way you were treated, and saying sorry unnecessarily. Each morning you wake up with the same demotivation and a heavy sigh.
To sum it all up, all these signs of emotional baggage indicate a handicapped sentimental balance. Like a tightrope walker, you must know not to lean too far on either side, or you might plummet into an abyss of darkness and unhappiness.
How to Prevent Your Emotional Baggage from Holding You Back?
In this long journey of life, you need to learn to leave your traumas where they belong – in the past. But if you’ve brought the emotional baggage along with you, it’s time you find closure because you might bleed on those that didn’t hurt you.
Many people are aware of their previous grievances but choose to live with it because they’re afraid they might end up without a purpose. The truth is sometimes letting go is better than holding on. That way, you’ll find time to focus on a new aim in life rather than being entangled in the past.
Let yourself acknowledge the signs of emotional baggage and understand what does baggage mean in a relationship. Let yourself heal from an abusive and tormenting past. Let go!