We all have our emotional baggage. For someone, it might be a small bag that they can carry in one hand. For others, it may be a jumbo suitcase that can’t even zip up anymore because it’s overstuffed.
It’s filled with our unprocessed experiences from the past that still affect us – broken relationships, traumatic memories, emotional neglect. All of those are packed in our emotional baggage and we take it with us everywhere we go.
You meet a friend for a coffee and you take your baggage with you. You go on a date with a guy and you bring your precious cargo.
But sometimes, our emotional baggage gets too heavy. It becomes so packed with unresolved issues that it becomes hard to walk around with it. And although the weight isn’t physical, you feel it in your chest with every move you make.
It becomes hard to breathe and you struggle to move forward when your emotional baggage is stuck in the past.
So, in order not to leave our ever-so-carefully packed backpack of emotional issues somewhere on the roadside, we make effort to take care of it and keep it with us for as long as it takes.
And this is where things get complicated.
Sometimes, our emotional baggage gains so much power over us that it becomes impossible to lead a life the right way.
Let me show you what I mean.
Have you ever met a guy who simply doesn’t know how to behave in a healthy relationship? He seems like a nice guy, but he takes all of the wrong steps.
No matter how many times you tell him that he’s doing things wrong, it’s like he’s incapable of changing his behavior.
Let’s say that he was a guy who was abandoned in the past. Every time he found himself in a relationship that he was committed to, a girl left him without a word.
Because of that, the fear of being abandoned is deeply rooted inside of him. It’s packed somewhere in his emotional baggage. So every time the two of you have a fight, he loses control, throws “You’re gonna leave me” at you, and runs away from the conflict.
Over time, this has become unbearable. No matter how many times you explain to him that just because you’re having a fight it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically break up, he fails to hear you out.
He’s picking through his emotional baggage, looking for all the times he got abandoned. That’s the only reality he knows. The moment you want to resolve an issue with him, you know what his reaction will be.
Maybe your guy has been hurt in the past. His previous relationships made him feel like he was being played with. That feeling is now hidden somewhere in his baggage and there hasn’t been a day that he hasn’t accused you of hurting him.
Whatever you do, his baggage has taught him to think that you’re playing with his feelings. You try to explain to him that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Word by sensitive word, you tell him your intentions, but still, it makes no difference.
And I know that you don’t want to be pushy because you know how it feels to go through life, carrying your emotional baggage on your shoulders and struggling to go a day without reliving your past experiences.
But sometimes people give themselves too much power and use their emotional baggage as an excuse for their actions.
“I know that I wasn’t supposed to do that, but let me just blame it on my past experiences and I’m golden.”
As long as he keeps doing that, you’re going to be stuck in place. Alone, with no one around you to understand your feelings, you’ll keep giving your guy chances when he clearly doesn’t know how to use them.
You’ll feel sad and your mind will be flooded with negative emotions. All because some guy keeps playing his emotional baggage card.
But is his bad behavior really worth the love you feel for him? You’ve been his biggest support, you’ve tried to help him, but still he refuses every opportunity.
It’s clear that he doesn’t want to change things. He has his patterns and for the rest of his life, he’ll behave the same way.
You can be his hand in need for as long as you want, but he’ll refuse it because he isn’t ready to let go of his baggage. The weight of it will carve strap marks into his shoulder, but he’ll keep on wearing it because he doesn’t know how to live life without it.
The bag will keep on filling, and it will get physically and emotionally exhausting to carry it. Still, it’ll be the only reality he knows. He won’t change it until he feels ready to offload.
And you? You’ll keep putting up with his behavior, thinking that you can’t leave him because of everything he’s been through. You’ll stick and suffer, but it’ll get tiring.
At one point, you’ll have to ask yourself how far you’re willing to go. How much more you can take until you lose every last ounce of energy to fight.
By staying in a relationship with a guy who treats you badly and blames it on his past experiences, do you want to fill your emotional baggage as well? Do you want to be the one who suffers through relationships because she thinks that it’s wrong to leave a person who’s going through a lot?
Trust me, he could change his life. He could erase the unhealthy patterns that keep him behaving the same way all the time. He could easily do something about it – if only he wanted to.
Instead, he keeps using excuses because he knows that you’re too good to leave a guy who’s been dealt a bad hand in life.
But it doesn’t mean that you should be a girl who stays when everyone else would be gone a long time ago.