Women know better than anyone what it feels like to carry around a big, heavy purse for any length of time. And if you’re like me, such a bag is usually necessary to bring along all the things I need for my children and my own indulgences. Though physically we can handle extra weight (for awhile), we are not meant to carry around emotional baggage. What am I talking about? You know….really, you do. That job crisis you had last year; the fight you had with your husband; the breast cancer scare from three years ago; the rejection from sixth grade…
All of the above are just examples of situations that can leave a bad taste in your mouth and a load of emotional dysfunction. Why do women tend to hang on so long to things that have hurt them? Good question. My take on this is fairly simple. Sometimes letting go is more painful than holding on. Another theory is this: I believe that because we have an instinct to nurture and care for others, we will absorb blame and consequences in order to spare others pain.
Can I Let Go?
Let’s first talk about the letting go scenario. Think about that analogy of the big, heavy purse that you have been carrying around the mall for hours. Your shoulder might be numb from the pressure. In other words, you can’t feel the pain as long as you hold on to it. But as soon as you drop it, OUCH! You get the picture.
“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” Charles Dudley Warner
Letting go of past pain and negative emotional baggage is something that you have to want to do. Why? Because it takes courage and sometimes more work than a fleeting thought. Taking one thing at a time is usually the best approach. Think of how disastrous it would be if a waitress came up to your table carrying a tray holding six plates, and instead of serving one plate at a time, she dumped them all at once. Not good…
A Balancing Act
Take it easy after each thing you deal with. Give yourself time to re-balance. Going back to the waitress visual aid. When you serve drinks from a tray (one at a time), you have to shift the balance after each one. If you don’t you will lose the whole tray, likely on some one’s head. So, keep your trays (and emotions) balanced, ladies.
As far as the other possible reason we hold on to things, you have to choose your battles wisely. If you cover up something for another in order to spare them pain, that’s your perogative. Just be careful you don’t sacrifice your joy and true self in the process. The best way to help others is to be the woman that God intended you to be. Finding her under all that baggage might be difficult. Just saying… Are you holding on to emotional baggage?
Can you think of something that you held onto to for a long time? How did you let it go? Have some great tips on emotional healing? Please share your thoughts with us.
Photo by Unverdorben