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We all have them, we all carry them. Why do we insist on carrying something, over which, at this point, we have no control? The situation is long gone, and there is nothing we can do about it right now. Then why do we still love to hold on to the baggage? These things are not nostalgic and they are never going to give us any peace of mind. But we still insist on carrying these heavy burdens on our shoulders.
And let’s face it, the person who carries this burden not only chooses to remain shackled to it but also pulls down all the others in his life who are trying to help him float.
And at the end of it is it going to be worth it?
Life changes in an instant. At that point, nothing else matters than the happiness you have shared with people. Let the weight go. Travel your remaining journey light. Share happiness, even with the ones who have been responsible for your baggage. It’s a beautiful journey and everybody is blessed. We just have to straighten our head up from under the weight and see it.
However, it is not easy every time to let go of our baggage so easily. We have come up with 6 simple steps that you can do to begin this journey of letting go.
Identify the benefits of staying stuck
Be honest and ask yourself, what exactly are you getting out of staying stuck in the past. Perhaps you enjoy complaining. Maybe you enjoy having a reason to blame something or somebody else for failures. Perhaps it is attention seeking. Or maybe it is just plain helplessness and you don’t know a way to get out. Once you can get to the reason of staying stuck with baggage, it will be an easier process to decide to let go.
Express your pain — and your responsibility.
Express the pain, the hurt made you feel, whether it’s directly to the other person, or through just getting it out of your system (like venting to a friend, or writing in a journal, or writing a letter you never send to the other person). Get it all out of your system at once. Doing so will also help you understand what your hurt is about. Talking it out or expressing it out may lead you to see another side of the story. Every single story has more than one side to it. Once you are able to see a few more perspectives, it will be easier to understand why the person behaved in that specific way. You may find some amount of responsibility pointing towards your own self.
Forgive each and every person associated with the event. This includes your own self too. Forgiving yourself is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. If you can’t be gentle and kind to yourself for past actions and decisions, you are asking for a life of misery. We do not come here knowing all the answers, that’s what life is all about. Forgive others. Know that forgiving them is not about being let off the hook, it is about choosing who you want to be in the world and knowing that you do not want to live with emotions that affect you emotionally and physically.
Focus on the present: the here and now.
Now it’s time to let go. Let go of the past, and stop reliving it. Stop telling yourself that story where the protagonist, you, is forever the victim of this other person’s horrible actions. You can’t undo the past, all you can do is to make today the best day of your life. When you focus on the here and now, you have less time to think about the past. When the past memories creep into your consciousness (as they are bound to do from time to time), acknowledge them for a moment. And then bring yourself gently back into the present moment.
Make new memories.
Keep yourself busy with physical activity, join a club and meet like-minded people, meet someone who has no clue what you do for a living and why you do it, and just live as much as you can. Every day, you have the opportunity to make new memories happen. This is a gift we often take for granted.
Get Professional Help If You Need It.
If you find it too difficult to forgive and let go on your own, especially if the offending acts have been traumatic, or are ongoing, then consider working through your feelings and deeper issues with a good therapist. It would be more than worth your while to gain the peace of mind you seek and to move forward with your life.