Episode 15: How to Get Rid Of Emotional Baggage

 Image via @positivelypresent Instagram 

Image via @positivelypresent Instagram 

This is something I think about a lot. My mental health forces me to do so.

Ask yourself this question?

Do you love yourself enough to go after the things you want because you know you deserve them?

Here’s a fact, there’s no such thing as not deserving the things we want. Everyone is entitled to a life they love.

In the past year, I have talked a lot about things happening on the inside and how we look to heal, or start on a journey to becoming more self-aware.  

I put together some ideas on things we should think about as we start the process of better understanding ourselves and how we interact with those around us.

1.     Fill Your Own Gaps

Among the many books I read last year one spoke of this idea that we often seek partners that fill our gaps. The gaps left by our parents (even if they were great!) and the gaps in ourselves.

If we love ourselves we are not expecting other people to fill the gap. We focus on attracting the right kind of love but then are we the people we are seeking? Do we have the mental clarity and focus we seek in others?

This means that if we're parents we are not parenting from a place where we are simply trying to make up for the things that our parents didn't do for us. I'll give you an example, if your parents didn't buy you a lot of things then you heal yourself enough so that you aren't just buying your kids things because you want to make yourself feel better about things and not sure if that makes sense. I'm not saying we shouldn't buy our kids things or we shouldn't love our kids in that way but I think we should be mindful of when we're doing things for ourselves to heal our own “wounded child.”

Do we expect our partners to fill that gap for us and make us feel an abundance of love that really should be coming from within ourselves? How often do we get mad at our partners because they're not making us feel a certain way or they're not filling our needs or reading our minds. I do this too!

A big evolution in my relationship has been an understanding that while we might be great together, there is always more cultivating of myself that has to happen for me to be the best partner. Every challenge we have faced together has required me to do more work on myself.

I urge us all to really examine are we expecting our partners or friends or whoever it is that is close to us in our life.

Depending on where we are on the journey, we may have identified those yet. I know it took me a really long time to get to a place where I was actually aware of how often I was feeling unloved because at the end of the day I didn't love myself enough. That’s not to say there is a point where you say, “I’m healed!” but having the awareness is an important part of the journey!

2. Invest In Yourself Without Apologies.

The self-care movement has made “treating ourselves” about things that ultimately lead us to consume more. That’s not bad (well, kinda but that’s not the point of this piece). If you want to treat yourself with a nice pair of shoes with a nice pair of clothes you know your financial situation so you do you! . Just make sure its not coming from a place of lack where you are trying to fill emotional gaps by buying things. But I know a great outfit can be a big confidence boost! But what I'm talking about here is about investing time and maybe money in cultivating ourselves. We really have to fight for time to invest in our cultivation and try to eliminate feelings of guilt. If you have an inkling to travel don’t let yourself get distracted by other things. If you like to spend time in nature, or reading or exercising do more of that and less of things you feel obligated to do.

3.Eliminate Self-Doubt : Ironically, we can feel self-doubt in the moments where we are actually closer to a breakthrough or moving from a place of doing something that we were previously afraid of doing. Feelings of like who do you think you are to have this?  And that's actually one of the reasons why I did a session on transformational therapy that I talked about before, because that's the feeling I wanted to tackle with I wanted to talk about where do this feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness come from?

We actually did the regression and did a few exercises where we looked at a few instances in my life as a child where I seem to have gotten that idea. I was thinking about when I was a young girl and I was never really physically athletic. And so somewhere along the line I got the message that my body wasn't able to perform in a certain way when it came to physical activity like sports and that manifested in this really deep insecurity.  I remember being in physical education growing up and being the last person to be selected for a team. You know being the person who is kind of made fun of or laughed at because I just didn't have that athleticism. One of the things I want to do this year is I want to challenge myself to run a 5K because I want to start deprogramming myself of that inability to have faith and belief in my own body. It also created a craving in me for belonging and always feeling like “no one likes me.”

What I've learned is that your brain doesn't really understand the difference between like actuality and your thoughts so whatever thoughts you're telling your brain to have in whatever input you're entering. That's what's going to really make a difference in your life. Even when things have gotten super difficult it's helped me navigate them and give me an additional set of tools.

4.     Change Yourself Before Working on Others. This is a really big one because how many times have we gotten mad at somebody and we think about the things they did wrong, the offensive things that they said to us and who we do not turn that lens back onto ourselves. If we have a breakup. We talk about all the things the other person did wrong but we don't think about the things that we brought to the table that resulted in an unsuccessful outcome or in a bad situation for us.  How do we address what's going on within ourselves before changing other people? Or if we really want our partner to stop doing X how do we change first and then hopefully by changing ourselves then we'll change the dynamic of everybody around us?

Ultimately, it's better to turn that energy onto ourselves because we can control what we do and how we react when we really cannot control how other people react or come to situations because we don't know what baggage you're bringing to the table. A lot of times when people are reacting to certain way it's more about them and things that happen to them in the past and not things that have to do specifically with you.

5. Set Boundaries

When we set boundaries around ourselves that's a way of showing self-love. If I can tell somebody “NO” or “No more” that's a way of showing self love, because it shows that I can love myself enough and stand on my own enough whether or not you approve of me whether or whether or not you like me. Thinking back to the things that happened to me in middle school where I felt very rejected and I felt like an outcast I can see that my adult self is in some ways still healing from those emotions and that has prevented me from setting boundaries with people. I am so focused on gaining approval from others I fail to examine if I actually like them. I am working on reframing how I think about that and instead focusing on the times when I stood strong even if I was alone to prevent those patterns from re-emerging in my life.

How do you know when someone is violating your boundaries?

Well most of the time there's a slight feeling of discomfort that comes when someone is stepping on that line. But you gotta be in tune with yourself to know where that line is.

The more you practice saying no to people are setting a boundary. Think the easier it becomes because then it's like a muscle and you have a clear understanding of like this is what it feels like when someone is violating my boundary. There is a feeling of liberation that I get when I don't let somebody violate my boundary because more often than not, if you continue that allowed to happen then you're setting up a situation where your relationship with the person is predicated on the fact that they violate your boundaries in a certain way. You're always going to be feeling caught up in that emotion with this person and it probably won’t end well.

6. Don't be afraid to take drastic action for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to make significant changes in your life to make things better for yourself whether that's going to therapy or changing the way you eat. People who love us are going to support us in whatever changes we choose to make to cultivate ourselves. And you doing that might actually be something that motivates other people to make changes that they need to make in their own life. Tell yourself five things that you want to do for yourself. These next few weeks are this year and then really set up a goal and an intention to get them done.

7. Be in tune with yourself.

Do you allow yourself quiet time to just be with yourself and if you're an introvert you probably do this a lot more because being an introvert means that you need that time to be with yourself and tune into YOURSELF. But I believe even extroverts need this time to really be in tune with themselves whether that's running doing some kind of exercise, a meditative practice or journaling practice but really something that allows you to make sense of the inner workings of your being. If you are not tuned in with yourself it's going to be really hard for you to meet your own needs and to really assess where you are and that's going to make every other element of cultivating self-love a little bit harder to handle.

You can also listen to Episode of 15 of The Currently Podcast where I dive into this topic further! 

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