Emotional Spring Cleaning Time to Travel Light!

“Time for some cleaning. Remove all the self-doubt, worry, jealousy, regret, anger, guilt or any other negative emotions that are holding you back from your happy, fulfilled life.”

~Nanette Mathews

Growing up I was greatly influenced by the Oprah Winfrey Show. It might have been around 1986 (I was 16) that I heard her speak these words, “Love doesn’t hurt.” At that tender age, I was in a lot of pain but those words spoke hope to me. It sent me on a quest for self-love, a life driven by love, and loving partnerships. Now it has been a messy journey but love is a great healer and redeemer. 

Levels to emotional baggage

Fast forward into adulthood during a reflective moment I began assessing my emotional stuff in terms of luggage. The goal for me was and still is to live life as light as possible. I started out with a straight-up trunk set of emotional baggage in all sizes and a two-man job to load and unload. You get the picture. The trunk set morphed into a 5 piece with a matching carry-on bag and the lighter load felt good. By way of intentionality and commitment to grow in self-love daily, I’m probably at a carry-on and backpack (wink). The ultimate goal backpack with a matching fanny pack (they are back in style). 

My evolution has required a BIG time commitment. Cleaning the house and facing toxic emotions is not easy. Many organizing experts believe that the reason many people resist purging their closets is emotional attachment. The dress still has a tag, has been hanging in the closet for three years, and is now deemed ugly as hell. But, because you bought it during a girl’s day with your best friend that lives in another state you can’t muster the courage to get rid of it. Emotional attachment. The same is true with toxic emotions. We become emotionally attached to the toxicity because they’ve become the norm. If you’ve ever done a closet purge or just purged a small junk draw it just feels good and the accomplishment shines bright. Time to expose toxic emotions.

Toxic emotions to watch and replace

A toxic emotion is like a poison; it is harmful, pervasive, and even insidious. The great news is that once we are aware of what they are they can be replaced with healthy emotions. Here are a few that tend to fly under the radar. Bright Side has compiled a list of 15 and a handling strategy. As we learn let’s remember to extend ourselves GRACE. Experiencing these emotions is a normal part of our humanness, it is when it becomes a way of life and the only way of coping that it becomes toxic.

  • Chronic dissatisfaction
    • Solution-Embrace yourself totally, and don’t fall into the trap of living by someone else’s expectations.
  • Envy
    • Solution-Take stock of your unique gifts, talents, and abilities. Use that to actualize your dreams.
  • Shame
    • Solution-Understand that it is rooted in fear of abandonment. Commit to releasing perfectionism, laugh at mistakes, and know failure is a growth opportunity.
  • Denial
    • Solution-Loving yourself is key, your uniqueness is what equips you to face challenges. 
  • Frustration
    • Solution-Understand it is rooted in the need to please. Can’t please all the people all the time. Take stock of your achievements, grant permission for errors, lean in, and don’t quit. 

I am convinced most if not all of us just want to be happy and experience healthy love. This is possible and within reach with a little work. Giving up my trunk set was not easy. I had grown attached to every piece inside. The epiphany came with each downsizes. I realized I didn’t need that outfit (emotional response) after all. I’ll never forget going on a business trip and how proud I was to check-in one bag. I’d mastered traveling lighter. Packing only the necessary items and the ones that would best serve me and the trip. The same metaphor can be said of my emotional baggage. I encourage you to spend some time doing a little spring cleaning and pack lightly. 

Dare 2 Be Well!

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