Emotional Baggage, Part I

Notice: Only One Carry-On Allowed

Emotional Baggage
Part I: Yesterday

Over the last few days, I’ve talked with friends and family who hold on to negative emotions (read ‘hold on to wrongs against them’). The human condition dictates that everyone will experience not just love, hatred, peace, anger, happiness, sadness but the entire myriad of emotions. No one can escape experiencing these emotions (biological abnormalities that alter physiological responses to the emotional stimuli, notwithstanding). Nor should we. It’s our lot in life to live it and experience it, to the fullest of our ability and desire.

Experiencing emotions can be physically exhausting or exhilarating. Basically the negative emotions drain, while the good emotions can recharge our energy. So every time we experience a negative emotion, our strength is sapped. Why allow someone or something to continually steal away our energy? When we store a memory, we may store our emotional state along with it, but when we recall that memory, we don’t necessarily have to expend any emotional energy to remember it.

If someone treats me badly, I’ll probably get angry. Who wouldn’t? But weeks or years later, when I remember what that person did to me, it’s my option to get angry or just to recall the memory. But I wouldn’t want to forget that memory. That memory is part of my experience and, therefore, part of me. So, I remember the past transgression, but have all of my emotional energy available for the new experiences in the present.

Don’t hold onto old emotional baggage. You only have room for one carry-on, and that should be reserved for your present.

Originally Posted: Dec 1, 2008