Is carrying around all of your emotional baggage wearing you out?
I was talking to a friend the other day about energy. Specifically, how tired you get when you spend all your time pushing down old emotions; when you ignore what you really want to do and spend your time doing what other people want/expect of you; doing what you think you should do rather than what you want to do.
When you are in this space, you use up all of your energy, even if you don’t realise that’s what you are doing. And you go home at the end of the day with nothing left in the tank for yourself.
This was certainly true for me a couple of years ago. I was tired. Yes, I ate well. Yes, I exercised regularly. Yes, I got enough sleep. But I felt flat and wasn’t sure what brought me joy anymore. I was emotionally tired. Heavy. Sure, I smiled and laughed and socialised and did all the things I normally did. But at the end of the day I was worn out. Pushing everything down in the hope that one day I would be feeling like my old self again took a lot out of me. Until one day I sat down, opened up the emotional bags that I had been carrying around and went through them, slowly and surely.
The change didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of writing in my journal, talking to people I could trust, a lot of yoga and meditation, of reading books that I was drawn to and paying attention to what they had to tell me, working with coaches and mentors. And then it involved a leap of faith to finally let go of the old ways and embrace the new.
At one point in this process, a friend asked me if I had lost weight. I hadn’t. ‘You look lighter’ she said. And I was. Emotionally lighter. I had shaken off a lot of the old stuff that had been weighing me down. I’ll look at photos of myself BC and AC (before change and after change) and I can see the difference simply by the way I’m standing, the joy in my eyes.
It’s not easy. It takes time and hard work and sometimes it forces you to look at yourself in ways that might feel uncomfortable to you. And once you work through one issue there’s often another one standing in the wings waiting to take centre stage. Or perhaps it’s another one coming back for an encore, (Danielle LaPorte talks about that here).
Look at it, acknowledge it, work through it then let it go and move forward. Because once you stop pushing everything down, you make room for the good stuff and can feel the joy and energy come back to you. I’m not saying that you’ll never feel pain or loss or disappointment but you will feel lighter, stronger and more in control when you’re not lugging all of that emotional baggage around with you all the time.