Let It Go!
We have all experienced the feeling of carrying the past with us throughout our daily lives and whether we realize it or not, it holds us back from achieving our goals and stepping out of our comfort zone.
I was recently confronted with this very thing when I realized that I was carrying baggage from a past relationship that ended very abruptly. Clift notes - life dealt us the hand of an LDR (long distance relationship). We were together for over 2 years and had what appeared to be a solid relationship. Then it was over. No warning. We never had a conversation that things weren't working - the topic honestly never came up. Worse, I found out there was a new relationship via Facebook.
I was a big girl and did what I needed to do to move past that relationship - at least I thought I had. Over time I truly didn't think about it further and there were unresolved feelings buried below the surface. Fast forward to this month, a text message from my ex made me confront those unresolved feelings and truly have a heart-to-heart with myself about them.
I'm glad it was rainy this week, it truly matched my overall mood. But I'm also grateful for the sense of cleansing that came from the rain.
We often hold onto this baggage due to the subconscious fear of letting go, but there are many ways to practice relaxing our beliefs and changing the way we hold onto certain things. Below are some tips to practice when attempting to let go of this toxic baggage, but different strategies work for different people depending on the situation and the reasons for not letting go.
Get Rid of Repetitive Thoughts
Our mind can make it very difficult to let go of emotional baggage, especially during the times that we need to the most. When we are attempting to step out of our comfort zones, the mind may rehash dark memories and produce chatter in the mind that causes us fear and worry.
Meditation is a great way to observe these toxic thoughts, reflect on them, and eventually let go of them. By looking at them from the outside in and connecting with them rather than trying to fight them, we will be more at peace with ourselves.
This also may mean creating a mantra to repeat in order to replace the negative self-talk and not pay mind to it. For example, when negative baggage begins to repeat itself in the mind, say to yourself “I accept my thoughts and I choose to move forward.” This self-assurance will allow you to slowly reduce the power that you give to the emotional baggage carrying itself through life’s greatest challenges.
Evaluate Your Relationships
When attempting to let go of the thoughts and baggage that you are carrying with you, it is important to reflect on the people you are surrounding yourself with and how they are impacting your recovery process.
The people with who you choose to spend your time and energy should be people who lift you up and make you feel empowered. If you find that these relationships may be toxic and getting in the way of your goals, you made need to distance yourself and make time to focus on yourself.
Write and Reflect
If you take the time to write down a list of the things that you find repeating in your mind or that weigh you down, you can reflect on why this may be and the emotions that you feel. This can help you understand the toxic baggage in your life and evaluate ways to let go of it for you as an individual.
You may need to write daily over a period of time to truly understand what is getting in the way of a clear mind and the baggage that you may not even know that you are carrying with you.
Another important way to understand toxic baggage and truly let go of it is a mature reflection on the situations. While looking at the experiences that may feel as if they are haunting you and analyzing the ways that they are impacting you, write down one positive outcome of each thing that hurt you. By looking for the good in negative situations, you will be able to let go of negatives and view them as learning experiences.
There are many different strategies that can allow you to let go of your emotional baggage and be more present in daily life. Is it time for a self-checkup? Remember, self-care is about taking care of our mental and emotional well being too. Perhaps there are some forms of toxic baggage holding you back from things you want to accomplish and preventing you from living to your fullest potential. It's always a good time to rid yourself of toxic baggage.
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Resources to Help You Let Go
Letting go of toxic people will help increase your inner peace. Not sure what inner peace is? This article will help: Inner Peace.
Need tips to help you journal consistently? The Journaling Habit offers tips.
New to meditation? Listen to A Guide to Your First Meditative Session for Beginners. The transcript is also available.