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Is Your Baggage Holding You Back?

By Linda Reeves

Here you are single again and ready to re-enter the big scary world of dating, and like most everyone, you bring along baggage. We all have it; some more than others. However, now is the time to analyze the necessity of that baggage in your new life.

No one is exempt. You may have childhood angst over paternal divorce, conflicts with friends and family, or remorse over missteps and lost opportunities. Everyone has a history and an emotional response to it. What matters, when it comes to being a healthy, thriving human being, is whether or not you have deliberately unpacked your baggage.

As you delve into this new world, think about your life and the events that put you back into the dating world. Maybe it was divorce, a death or the end of a relationship, all very traumatic events in our lives, but if you are ready to move on with your life, you must put aside the unnecessary baggage. Deal with your grief from whatever situation and prepare your mind and heart to accept love and happiness again.

Keep in mind that although someone might say to you, "Tell me what happened," guess what? They really do not want to know your life history; simple and to the point is enough information. People are generally nice regardless of what you say and yes, it can keep the conversation flowing, but keep in mind: the more you say about the baggage, you are not creating any sympathy but merely bringing feelings back to the surface.

If the wounds have not completely healed, take steps to resolve the issues that cripple you emotionally and move into a happy and emotionally well-balanced life. This can be approached in various degrees. While we all have our own way of dealing with our emotional baggage, sometimes it is more than we can bear on our own. Seek out the counsel of your family, clergy or a counselor to help you confront and deal with the issues that are holding you back. By all means, do not sink into seclusion... come out of the darkness, join a health club, take a yoga class, and never forget the power of prayer. Expose the issues; sometimes in order to get beyond your past, you need to get into your past, determine what went wrong, why it happened that way. Explore what you are feeling: is it anger, resentment or just simply a broken heart?

We do not want to hear about your ex, how badly they treated you, ran up your phone bill, and cleared out your bank account, or the other possible things that were wrong with them. Know what this tells someone? You are not over it, you are still angry and hurt and certainly not emotionally available. You need to face these issues head on and let go of them before considering new beginnings. Deal with your emotions, feelings, and move forward, thus unpacking the excess baggage.

Realize and accept your situation and its circumstances. When it is over, take the time to grieve and deal with your feelings and then set them aside, clear your mind and your heart of all obstructions and embark on your new journey with a clean slate.

In conversations with someone new, tell them about yourself, what you like to do, what are your passions, your goals in life, your job, your children, your pets or anything that is a positive, and forget about the negative. Let me tell you this, you let that negativity creep back in and you are going to be sitting home alone watching sappy movies and crying over lost love when you could be enjoying the world that is there to be explored.

So, unpack your bags and put the unnecessary items away! Store the baggage, be it emotional, physical or human... you no longer have any need for it. Seek the new horizon ahead of you, the happiness that awaits you and the satisfaction of knowing that what you have to offer another person is the greatest of all gifts, but let that gift be of you, your present and your future. The past is done, it's time to begin anew.

Remember... always travel light.

Linda Reeves is a 47 year old advice columnist who writes for Cupids Blackbook, a free dating site on the web. She Lives in the American midwest.

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