Baggage, it’s the term given to emotional issues that stem from past relationships brought into a new relationship, not getting over painful memories and mistrust for example. The general consensus on baggage is that it’s a women’s issue. Women are walking around carrying their emotional scars from one man to the next and these scars give them low self-esteem and make them clingy and irrational…which then makes it impossible for them to have healthy relationships.
While this is certainly true, women aren’t the only ones carrying baggage. Are there more women carrying baggage than men? Maybe, but men are definitely carrying baggage too. The difference is that when a man has low self-esteem, is clingy or irrational in his behavior etc. he is just considered “lame” or a “good guy” that no woman wants because we’re only attracted to “bad boys”. Whatever dude, I’m not buying it.
The truth is every, and I mean EVERY adult has baggage. Baggage doesn’t only come from past sexual relationships, it comes from every relationship that we’ve ever had including relationships with our parents and even teachers and bosses. We’re all human and made up of chemicals and hormones. It’s natural for us; both men and women to be affected by our life experiences and to have them direct our behavior in the future. Some of us just have more experiences than others.
Emotional scars function much like a physical scar on the skin. When you get cut or burned and your skin is scarred, you might put some ointment or cream on it but it usually stays there. It may lighten up, but it takes a long time to go away and may not go away at all. Anyone who sees your skin will see that scar. When someone is scarred emotionally, it might be covered up in various ways but the pain stays there and anyone who comes in contact with those emotions will see the scars in some way.
“I guess nobody ever told you, all you must hold on to, is you, is you, is you.” ̶ Erykah Badu, “Bag Lady”
This is one of my favorite song lyrics. No one ever told me, and I’m going to guess that no one ever told you either. This is the hardest part of having baggage, knowing how to carry it. It’s so natural to hold on to things and carry them into new relationships when all you should be bringing to a new relationship is yourself. It’s hard to take the emotion out of experiences and appreciate it just for what it truly is, an experience, whether it was good or bad. Since none of us is perfect, what we should be doing is trying to understand each other’s experiences, not judge each other by them.
That’s not to say that anyone should be forced to deal with anyone’s issues. Some things may be too much for you to handle and that’s fine. Baggage is also not only emotional, it’s physical as well. Debt and addiction can also be considered baggage but those topics are for another article. Thank Greg Johnson for this one 🙂