We’ve all carried baggage from past relationships at one time or another. Whether it’s from a past love, friendship or even a family member, we carry the baggage from these relationships with us. And it can affect everything we do. Everything.
The problem isn’t actually the baggage itself but how we allow the baggage to define us. Can we figure out who we are independent of the baggage or has the baggage created who we are?
If the baggage is defining who we are, then we owe to ourselves to release its hold over us. “Just let it go,” they say. But just letting it go is much more difficult task than it sounds. Letting go of something we have been carrying around with us for awhile isn’t something that happens overnight. But it is possible.
Here are some ways to help us begin the process of releasing the hold our baggage has on our lives, the decisions we make and our existing relationships.
FOCUS ON IMPROVING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF.
Too often, relationships tend to drain our energy and take the focus off what makes us happy and why we love ourselves. An all-consuming relationship usually leaves you feeling empty and loathing yourself, because you have forgotten to nurture your inner child. Take the time to cleanse yourself, pamper yourself, and figure out what truly makes you come to life. Tell yourself you’re beautiful, exercise often, eat wholesome foods, meditate, and hang out with people who motivate you to grow in a positive direction. Instead of blaming and hating yourself for a breakup or a friendship that went sour, remind yourself how this ending helped you discover new beginnings.
Every negative experience happens in order for us to take the lesson, apply it, and transmute it into something positive so we can get ever closer to the reflection of love that we all are.
TREAT OTHERS WITH KINDNESS
It is easy to treat kind people with kindness but make it a goal to treat everyone with kindness – even those less deserving. This shifts our focus from past bad behaviors to future good ones. When we stop letting the bad behaviors of past relationships determine our future actions, we can begin to let go.
WISH THE OTHER PERSON WELL.
This is easier said than done, in most cases, but it builds on the last point about choosing love in all circumstances. If you feel attached to this person, you believe you cannot live without them, and have placed all your happiness into your relationship with them. Love and attachment do not have to exist together – true love means that you and the person recognize your intense bond and don’t need a relationship to validate that. Love transcends all physical boundaries; it makes up every single atom on this planet, and exists within all of us at all times.
Simply send love out to the other person when you feel bitter or hurt about the experience, because love will set you free, while negative emotions will drag you down. Getting over attachments to past relationships takes time, but if you take a loving and compassionate approach, it will seem that much easier to move on.
We should start writing down our thoughts, beliefs and the behaviors that affect our mood. Be honest and just write anything that comes to mind. Create a judgment-free zone where we are able to be real with ourselves. As we continue to write, we will start to notice patterns and triggers. Triggers that we can begin to recognize and change.
CHALLENGE THE STORY
We write our life’s story from our perspective. If the story is not contributing positively to our current reality, it is up to us to challenge it. Our story is from our point of view, as it should be. But to begin to let go of the baggage, it is helpful take a step outside of our story and write it from another perspective. Another perspective helps us to release the overwhelming emotion we feel and can help us break the hold it has on us.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED FROM THE RELATIONSHIP.
Maybe we don’t have to feel so much pain from a past relationship; maybe instead, we can think about how we grew from this relationship, and what we learned throughout our time spent with the person. It might seem like a negative experience from your perspective, but try to shift your focus a bit. How did you change from being in the relationship? What did you learn? Once you see the slivers of light shining through the dark clouds of the relationship, it becomes easier to express gratitude for it rather than feel resentful and hurt.