How Old Emotional Baggage Hurts New Relationships
It is almost impossible to counsel or do a reading for someone who is just starting a new relationship that the past is not brought up with concern. It is human nature to be cautious and sometimes fearful to carry with us the hurts, anger and knee jerk reactions left over from past failed relationships.
But sometimes, the very thing you are fearful of happening in your new relationship can manifest itself because of the old emotional baggage you still hold onto.
What exactly is “baggage”? You have heard the phrase many times in regards to what we carry from past relationships and maybe even have said it yourself: “He’s/she’s got baggage.”
Maybe even being aware of the impact of your own baggage on relationships. Professionals in marriage and family counseling, say that baggage is the “residue of early years that impacts us today.”
Simply put, baggage is the collection of unpleasant memories from the past that continue to negatively affect our perception of and our behavior in the present.
Baggage may sometimes feel like an insulator against future pain, but in fact, holding onto these fears and hurts really just weighs us down and keeps us from moving forward into a relationship we can be happy in.
You may have had high hopes in a past relationship or marriage that this person was the “one” but you had no control over the eventual downfall of the relationship. As a result, you may find yourself wanting control of a current or new relationship coming into your life in an effort to thwart the same kind of disappointment and pain you experienced in your past.
You could meet a really great person with whom you are deeply compatible, but the baggage from your past could inhibit you from seeing that person in a realistic light. The consequences of toxic baggage are evident in situations in which people walk away from someone wonderful or end up driving that person away.
Being overly protective of yourself and others can leave you closed off and distant from other people in the intimate parts of ourselves that need to be nurtured and sometimes expecting impossibly high expectations from a new one to make up for the past disappointments.
Tips for dropping baggage
Here are a few suggestions offered by relationship professionals to help drop the baggage from the past and get on with your life.
- Identify what your baggage consists of. In other words, identify what your key problems are. Shaking memories of the past involves dealing with inner conflicts that may have left you feeling vulnerable from a miserable event or set of events, so it can be difficult to turn on your self-awareness.
- Take written, verbal or audio pro active steps to change the way you think about what love looks like to you. After you have identified what your issues are from past relationships, write down or speak out loud the positive acceptance that what you want in a relationship is available to you and you are deserving of it. For example: if you have constantly been involved with cheaters…state very clearly to yourself and the universe that you no longer deserve that kind of relationship and write or say what you do feel you deserve.
- Listen to audio affirmations. I am firm believer that change comes from the subconscious mind and only that. If you can change the program of beliefs from past hurts and disappointments and your own low self-esteem, then you will create a new reality for yourself.
- Work on that forgiveness. Forgive yourself for making the choices that brought you hurt and disappointment and forgive the person who you invited to do so.
- Break down your baggage down into little steps. Start with something that you can emotionally handle and work on that. When you find that you are no longer thinking about what was done to you or not given you anymore, move onto the next issue.
Susan Z’s Verdict
Wiggle free of your old baggage. It is like shedding an old skin. You’ll begin to see that the memories of painful scenarios and events are just that and begin to accept the reality that “that was then, this is now.” You’ll begin to see the authentic goodness of who you really are and you are making a conscious decision to move beyond it. Changing your mindset will change the way you experience the world and how successful you will move into a new relationship or keep the one you have happy.
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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.