Tuesday, October 21, 2008

emotional baggage

i've been meaning to write about this topic for a while now as i keep remembering it every time i bike up the hill with my backpack. it does get easier but most of the time, i'm left panting and out of breath because i have a heavy load on my back. it's much easier when i bike uphill with nothing on my back but even then i'm still a little out of breath when i reach the top.

so, i wanted to talk about not just physical baggage, luggage or something you can actually carry. i'm talking about the baggages of life. life is a wellspring of pain, of joy, sorrow, suffering ... in short, of emotions. some emotions have a way of etching themselves into our physical memory, i.e. pain. one shudders at the thought of it. it can also ingraine in us certain reactions like a coping mechanism. when we're in a certain situation we've been in before, we tend to react the same way every time just to avoid it.

one of the former priests at john xxiii said, to avoid conflict, pain, sorrow, is the beginning of madness. when we steer clear of these feelings, we try to rationalize them and we even go to a therapist to find a "solution", we just never really face up to the problem. so instead of experiencing one pain and chucking it out after you've drained every feeling out of it, there's the mountain of pain that accumulates like the unpacked luggage, like the heap of emotions that pile up because there's always another time to "deal" with it.

but after years and years of putting off that "sorting", you've learned to live with the load. you've learned to move around it and to take care not to topple it lest it all falls on you all at the same time. you've learned to cherish the feeling of heaviness. at times, you've become jaded. you snap at anyone trying to get at your heap to lighten your load. it's become your security blanket.

then it's time to move on ... and you find that it's difficult because you have so many luggages to carry - the pain, the sorrow, the insecurities, the pain, the sorrow, the insecurities ... by now, you have double of everything and it comes in different sizes. you think why am i carrying all of these? wouldn't it be easier just to let go ... yes ... it's easier to let go but it's not as easy as that, so you chuck one piece at a time until you get to the last piece. but then your heap starts again, thus begins a new mountain. and the whole cycle begins again.

it's only a thorough cleaning, self-examination and constant chucking of unwanted emotional luggages that you can keep a minimal heap, a bearable load. i always remember what my friend luige told me: the best solution to solving a problem is removing the problem. he is wise.

so the next time you stop at an emotional station in your life, don't forget to offload all the unnecessary ones.

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