The Mind Edit – Getting rid of past baggage

Recently I was watching “Love Island” on Netflix (Yes! I do watch crap and do not have any regrets! Only my husband has… can here him “tsk-ing” in the background even now!!). In one of the episodes a contestant got triggered by something that was said and went on to explain how a painful past relationship causes her to react this way. And I let out a sigh of relief.. I wasn’t the only one getting triggered randomly.

There are so many instances where I feel a switch go off in my head when certain things are said or done. A casual conversation between my husband and me can get completely derailed if “that which cannot be said” is said.

As my journey in self love continues one of the key issues I have been struggling with is “The Mind Edit” – decluttering my mind from such triggers, basically undealt-with emotions.

Now, I’m a hoarder; and strangely it shows on my physical as well as emotional possessions. I simply pack them away because I HATE cleaning.

So when I’m asked to “clean” my emotional closet… it gives me the hives (my ‘OCD friend’ would have a mini panic attack looking at my closet!)!! Added is the fact that sometimes these “Bagwatis” (a fun Indian way of referring to an expensive bag) have become so much a part of you, it’s difficult to let go of them.

So, what do I do? “Out of sight.. out of mind”.

But now, as I clean the cobwebs, I’ve realised how useless that method has been. It’s as they say.. the emotions remain and pretty much are waiting for the next trigger from your partner or anyone else, for you to experience them again.

Why is it important for me to deal with this junk right now?

Well, it’s part of my “Fit-Fam-Fun” resolution. Cutting off the extra flab that’s been weighing me down. It’s not easy to go through life with all this excess baggage, and it’s certainly not fun for the people we love trying to walk carefully through your min(d)efields.  

And when I think about it, we owe it to ourselves first and our loved ones next. Probably it is time to explore and process some of these emotions.

Understanding your inner engineering

The ghosts of our past relationships, parents, friends, colleagues etc do come to haunt us. But then I guess it all comes down to self awareness and regulation right? Easier said than done!

  • Acknowledge the existence of these triggers: It took me a long time to understand that certain emotional upheavals were triggers. It took me some more time to understand the root of that experience. Most often than not, these could be linked to childhood traumas, painful relationships, etc. It is just a shift in consciousness. Simply knowing is half the battle won.
  • You suffer for someone else’s doing: And the most irritating part of all is that the person who has caused it, has simply done his/her work and moved on. It is not impacting them, for all you know they don’t even know that they have caused it.
  • Learn from it: This is what helped me get over some of the baggage. Like toxic relationships there can be toxic moments in a relationship. And like the relationship where we need to figure the life lesson learnt and let go, such ghosts too have lessons to learn.    
    • Once I had understood how a particular emotional quicksand had helped me grow (yes, it actually did!), I was able to let it go far more amicably.
  • Own it: I think the last thing I have realised is that it’s not your current partner’s/person’s responsibility to deal with you during your triggers. When I finally started opening up, about my emotional outbursts, a lot of the jigsaw puzzle fell into place for him. It gave my partner an understanding of my mind’s working. Bottomline, show vulnerability. It works!

Healing from any sort of emotional baggage is no easy task and even beginning this journey takes a lot of courage. Ask me, I put up such a commendable fight every time I have to discuss some of these scars, that it puts my Muay Thai-addict of a husband to shame! But I also know how tangibly lightweight I feel as this journey progresses. So, I would say, go for it, who knows, you might find a real “bagwati” during this cleanup!