Debbie Caine a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. She completed her Master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Oakland University, and works with individuals, couples, families, and groups across a range of presenting issues.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to feel it to heal it”?
There is some truth in the saying and I have witnessed it. It is quite the opposite of, “…you should stuff that emotion and carry that baggage around forever…” Clients have asked me, “What does talking about the past have to do with anything I am experiencing now?” Turns out it could have a tremendous impact on what you are experiencing in the moment, and that is why it is referred to as emotional baggage. You could be carrying it around with you through every life experience.
It is understandable that it is difficult to have the desire to talk about painful experiences, but NOT acknowledging it does not change the fact that it exists. There could be unresolved trauma, chronic stress, significant negative life experiences, past hurts, relationship difficulties, and many other issues that may be difficult to remember and even more difficult to talk about. All the emotions that you may be stuffing in that luggage take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit.
It is normal to have bad days, low moods, or experience situational anxiety. However, if anxiety and depression symptoms are lasting, you may need to examine if you are carrying emotional baggage. A professional counselor can assist in enhancing awareness rather than avoidance. You need to give those feelings the permission to be heard and felt. The key is that the unpacking will lead to healing.