Therapy: Unpacking Your Baggage

by Paula Bianchi –

We all carry our own mental baggage throughout our lives, and we’ve been mentally packing stuff into them from the moment we’re born. Every little thing that happens to us, whether it’s something negative or positive, gets put into these bags along with our reactions to them.

The heaviest bag we have to carry is the one that is filled with our negative experiences. In most instances, the experiences we put into this bag are the ones that were out of our control.

Some of the things we’ll pack into this bag are: how we’re raised by our parents or dealing with absent parents, having our body sexually violated, how we’re treated by our peers in school or at work, and mental or physical abuse, to name a few, but it’s our own inner dialog, and our reactions to these events, that adds more weight to our bag.

Many people choose to self-medicate in order to avoid unpacking their baggage, which only lets it fester and grow heavier. Some may end up with very negative view points about themselves or life in general. They do this because they don’t want to experience the pain they’ll most certainly feel as they unpack their baggage. They don’t want to look at it and feel all the emotions they’ve been running from for years.

Holding on to the pain of something from your past, can be debilitating. It can make us do things that aren’t in our best interest like repeating what was done to us to someone else.

Carrying around the luggage from our past and refusing to open it, effects our relationships with the people around us. The sad part is we choose to do this in view of the fact that we refuse to do the one thing that will help us the most. “What’s that?” You may ask. The answer is plain and simple. Therapy.

While we’re going through our turmoil in our minds, we may not realize there’s an answer to our plight. As we search for the answers, our denial of the past comes out in our behavior, and how we view the world through our negative experiences. Everything that happens to us, has a cause and an effect on how we choose to assimilate it.

For many, it’s not easy looking at all the stuff they’ve avoided for years and years. It brings up a lot of feelings and emotions that they may have run from for most of their lives.

For some reason, our society has put a heavy burden on us by making us feel like we’re weak if we choose to go to a Psychiatrist or Psychologist to help relieve us from our mental mind games.

Sometimes, you just need an outside voice to help you unpack your baggage because as a kid, you had no clue how to respond to the negative actions of others, especially if these actions came from the adults who we trusted the most.

So many of us, are running away from our past, but the more we run, the more it tries to catch up to us. Some may choose to run forever leaving a trail of chaos in their wake due to their traumatic past and their refusal to look at it. They believe if they just stuff it down; it will just miraculously go away. But it doesn’t go away, and it may cause some of these people to look for ways to numb themselves from their past with drugs or alcohol.

Others may realize there’s something wrong with them, but they have no clue it’s linked to their past, until, they go into therapy. These people are surprised when they learn that the root of their problems, which have now manifested into panic attacks or some other health issue, stems from their past.

Then there’s the people who realize they can’t unpack their baggage without some professional help. I fell into this category. I told my doctor I knew I was there because I was molested when I was young. Her first response was to tell me how much time I just save myself in therapy.

The most important take away I can give you about therapy is: acceptance is your key to getting better. As you work with your therapist, you slowly, at your own pace, unpack your baggage and look at it with adult eyes instead of your inner child’s eyes. Once you really look at it, you accept it for what it is, then, let it go. Don’t rent anymore space in your head to the people who’ve hurt you in the past. If you do, it still gives them power over you.

Letting go of the past, will propel you forward. Holding onto memories that hurt you, is a self-inflicted mind game. Meaning: it will only continue to hurt you if you let it.

Unpacking your baggage, may cause you some pain at first, but the end result will be so worth it. You’ll feel more confident in yourself, and most importantly, you’ll feel so much lighter as you free yourself from your heavy load.

In my next Mind Games article, I’ll talk about fake friends. Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I appreciate your time. Bye for now.


Picture courtesy of: Pexels

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