You know those lessons you learn when you’re in a relationship with someone and they let you down, cheat on you, break your trust or downright destroy your will to live for a couple of days? Yeah, that’s called emotional baggage.
First of all, let’s start with the basics. There is no such thing as ‘baggages’ or ‘luggages’, be it emotional or physical. ‘Baggage’ and ‘luggage’. It is a grammatical error that should be punishable by solitary confinement.
Now, with that out of the way…
Every relationship I’ve had has taught me a lot about life, human relations and myself. I’ve learnt to never trust anyone whose anger is disproportionate to the situation he or she is getting angry about. I’ve also learnt to never forgive cheating, and that trust should not be a given until broken; it should be something that is earned and nurtured.
With every lesson, it became harder for me to trust the person I was dating. You can ask my last long-term partner. Our first few months were nightmarish; I questioned everything that happened between us. I was not right about it, of course, but my ex-husband had pushed me to the brink. Thankfully, I didn’t fall, but all my romantic ideals and emotional innocence certainly did.
But now that I’m out there looking again, I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I ever want to be happy again, I’m going to have to find a balance between my gut feeling and common sense. To do that, I’ll have to let go of some of the baggage.
These aren’t tangible suitcases where we keep torn up photographs, tears and shattered dreams. They’re metaphorical, and that makes them much harder to pinpoint. The good news is that you know yourself better than anyone else, and you can listen to yourself talking at all times. So listen out to things your mind and your heart tell your mouth to say. “I’m scared of being hurt again.” “Every time she doesn’t text me, I assume she’s cheating on me.” You’ll discover so much by the words you utter.
Cheaters and liars won’t come up to you and tell you, “Hey, Evelyn. I’m cheating on you tonight!” or, “Hey, Evelyn. You know when I said I was going to work late? Yeah I lied. I just wanted to go for a drink with friends without you.” Those things happen, but it doesn’t mean everyone lies and cheats. As scary as it is, you need to trust common sense, and unless things don’t add up, then what’s the point in killing yourself over something that may not be true?
It’s time we learnt to accept our feelings and embrace them. But just like an addiction, the first step towards quitting is admitting you have that addiction. So acknowledge your feelings, and then start dealing with them.
Talk About It
Everyone has emotional baggage, and it weighs all of us down. I may not trust instantaneously. The other person might assume everyone’s a cheater. So, as scary as it may sound, why not discuss your fears? Why not tell the other person, “Hey you, I’m not very good at trusting. So, if you want to make this work, we’ll need to work together.” I know it sounds lame and very un-Evelyn-like, but relationships can’t just be all about sex, you know?
There’s nothing wrong with having counselling and talking about how you feel. Think about all the shit we deal with. Parents, children, lovers, co-workers, work, childhood, life. No wonder we’re all so screwed up, particularly once you get to your 40s and you just can’t believe that life still has more shit to throw your way…
So show yourself some TLC before you do anything else, because without you, there isn’t going to be a relationship anyway.
Do you agree with Evelyn? Do you have any other advice on how to deal with baggage?
Let us know in the comment section below.