Physical and Emotional Baggage – Are You Carrying Too Much?


Physical and Emotional Baggage – Are You Carrying Too Much?

Imagine you are on a road trip on foot. You know your starting point, and you roughly know where your end point would be; everything in between, however, would play out unpredictably, a mix of spontaneity and mystery.

You carry a backpack containing all the essential items you need on a daily basis, plus a little bit more. Perhaps little pieces of keepsakes which have sentimental value. Maybe gadgets which are to be used in emergency situations.

You start out with a backpack of manageable size and weight. Along the way, you accumulate more items, whether purchases, gifts or simply free additions.

What is going to happen if you keep adding new items to your backpack without removing any of the unused or rarely used ones? Needless to say, it’s going to get bigger, and it’s going to get heavier and bulkier.

And that extra weight is going to weigh you down over time. Your shoulders are going to hurt. Your legs are going to have to carry more weight every day. The distance you are able to cover will be shortened. Your ability to enjoy the journey, to live the present, to soak in your surroundings and bask in every moment is going to be severely hampered because your bag is just getting so darned heavy.

Not to mention, when you next come across a physical treasure, you may struggle to find the space to fit it into your already bursting backpack.

It seems a common habit for us to collect and accumulate physical possessions. The bigger your house, the larger your storeroom, and the more sizeable your garage, the more stuff you are likely to keep. And hoard for many years.

This tendency extends beyond the physical too – many of us collect and hold on to tons of emotional baggage from the past. Hurt, sadness, grief, anger, regret, bitterness – these are some common ones – stuffing them into our metaphorical emotional and psychological backpack. The bag gets bigger, and it gets heavier, and we carry an ever-growing burden for the rest of our life journey. This emotional baggage, just like the physical backpack, hampers our ability to enjoy the journey, to live the present, to soak in our surroundings and to bask in every moment of each day. It’s going to affect our relationships with the people who matter to us today, too.

To live life to the fullest, we need to learn to travel light. We need to learn to toss out the bad and the very negative, and to only hold on to what truly matters, what is truly useful, as well as what really gives us peace, joy and happiness. Because any big and heavy baggage, whether physical or emotional, is going to weigh us down in ways both imaginable and unimaginable.

It’s certainly not easy, because many of us define ourselves by what happened in our pasts. But, at the end of the day, the past is far less important than the future, and the future itself is not as important as the present. To live life fully, we need to live life in the present moment; to do so, we need to travel light; and to do that, we need to learn to let go.

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