Relationships

Are You Carrying Around Your Emotional Baggage?

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Charu KumarRelationships,,,,,,

“It’s all inside, bottled up, swimming violently under the base of my skin.
Crashing tides of anger against the shoreline of my calm exterior.
Sometimes, grains of my patience go with the tide.
Sometimes, tears of frustration seep through my calm exterior and surface.”


She described her experience as educational because she finally understood what books were written about and poetry described and paintings depicted. She finally understood the meaning behind them all, what it really meant to feel.

She told me that it took a while to understand what she was going through and once she did , it was a whole lot easier. All she had to do was let it out.

Commonly described as “emotional baggage”, it’s the turmoil we face with ourselves – to let it go or to let it out.

So often we feel that basic, raw, overwhelming urge to give people a piece of our mind, waiting for an opportunity to pour out on them, mostly because we are annoyed or frustrated. But I’ve realized that often when people are presented with the golden opportunity to express how hurt or confused or vulnerable they are feeling, they choose to shut up.

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Why don’t you want to pour your heart out now and tell that someone that they hurt you, or how you wish they had stayed a part of your life instead of leaving?

Maybe it’s because you feel they wouldn’t care. I know I’ve felt that. I have felt that raging urge to tell someone everything, so many things, so many reasons, so much to say but barely a few words have made it out of my mouth. I’m scared that if I say everything, I will cross a line.

I will let you in and show you how vulnerable I am and you will destroy me.

I am scared that I will invite the enemy into my own palace, and make it easier for them to kill me. I’m scared that I have so much to say that you will realize how much you once meant to me and how much you’ve hurt me and once you know, I will never be able to pretend like I didn’t care; show you that you meant nothing.

I am scared that if you realize how much you annoy me and how stupid you have been, I will never be able to undo that and you will be gone anyway. I am scared that saying everything will leave me with nothing left to say later and there will be no going back.

I’m scared that you have filled me with so much anger and anxiety and emotional goo that when I start to say what I want to, you won’t be able to handle it and I won’t be able to continue. What if I can’t finish everything?

Wait. What if, even after saying it all, neither of us even feel better? Wasn’t the point to vent out our anger and frustration? Wasn’t saying it all supposed to make us feel better? What if it doesn’t?

But, what if it does? Say what you need to say.

If you don’t, who will? How will I know what you’re thinking if you don’t tell me? I barely know what I am thinking, or what I am feeling; I can barely tell if I’m happy or sad. So, don’t expect me to know what is going on with you.

I may have a slight inkling, but that’s just my perception of the tip of the iceberg that is your emotional state. It’s like when I ask you “How are you?” and you reply “I’m fine”, I may only sense a hint of a lie in that answer or if I don’t, I’ll believe you. But that’s as far as my mind reading capabilities will come to use.

When babies are small and cry because they need to poop or eat or sleep or are uncomfortable, mothers lose their mind and wish that their new-born would just speak and tell them what the problem was. It’s exhausting for them to sit and guess which one of those things is bothering their child, and watching him or her cry makes them feel helpless.

That’s what you are doing to me – making me feel like a helpless mother. Please stop. I’m too young and busy to babysit you.

How about this? Make my life easier, and that of everyone else around you and say what you need to say. Don’t over-think it. It doesn’t complicate anyone else’s life as much as it does yours. 

Confined to the complications of our mind, aided by ego, manipulated by society’s definitions of “acceptable behavior: our voices are lost – minds are numb, our tongues are tied. I don’t like you; I don’t want to see you; I love you; I miss you; I want to leave; I hate the way you manipulate me; I want to stay. SAY IT!

Stop suffering in silence and then conveniently assigning blame. You suffered because you were too scared to speak your mind, to stand up for yourself.

Think about it this way: What if you want to say something to someone and you don’t and tomorrow they cease to exist – you’ve lost your window and now they’re gone. You will never be able to forgive yourself for not telling them how you felt. Don’t put yourself in that position.

How to relieve yourself of emotional baggage:

  1. Talk to the person you have unresolved issues with. Aim to express, resolve, and untie knots of anger, frustration and jealousy.
  2. Try to look at their point of view. Go through the story outside yourself. They may have their own reasons for why they acted the way they did. Recognise that they are vulnerable to pain too.
  3. Meditate and practice not obsessing over the pain. This will help you move on. For reference, download this app.

“Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.” – Mitch Albom

Tell us in the comments below what you wish you had said. Maybe you won’t be able to tell them, tell us.