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Checking My Emotional Baggage This Valentine's Day



Checking My Emotional Baggage This Valentine’s Day
by Jean Harper

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. ~Judy Garland

 

My most recent challenge lies in not getting mired in either the enjoyment or the pain in my life; keeping my heart open and soft instead of closed and constricted. If we hold on to the hurts and wounds of the past, we start to accumulate emotional baggage − the dead weight of old experiences. Freeing yourself from this emotional baggage is crucial because dwelling on the past prevents you from participating in the present, which is the only place in which you can experience love, happiness, fulfillment, and miracles.

From Deepak Chopra- Keys to Healthy Relationships: The limits we impose on our emotions originated with the discomfort of our parents. We formed our boundaries by reacting to theirs. They also were taught as children to recognize when an emotion was too much. Their sense of appropriateness was inherited, and they had little choice but to pass it on. What this means is that our emotional life isn’t completely ours. It comes to us secondhand. Every tear we shed, every angry outburst and every peal of laughter reflects the emotional comfort range of parents and grandparents—people other than us. The emotional intelligence that is unique to each of us can be recaptured, rekindled and more highly developed if we acknowledge its potential and significance and incorporate three components into our daily activities:

Place attention on your emotions
Each day, from the moment you awaken to the moment you go to sleep, place your attention on your emotions. This critical first step will allow you to truly experience love and emotional compassion.

Practice empathy
After the first step has been forged, you are able to look beyond yourself to others. This leads you to the second component of emotional intelligence: empathy. Noticing another’s emotions is the essence of communication. Can you feel what another person is feeling? By this I do not mean simply to understand what another person is feeling, but to actually feel it as if it permeates every cell in your body.

Manage relationships
The third component of emotional intelligence is the ability to manage relationships. This is a sensitive combination of being true to oneself, being generous of heart and being fully present. This is often easier said than done, but reaching out to another with love, compassion, understanding, defenselessness, empathy and spontaneity takes you to higher planes of spiritual existence.

Managing relationships requires honesty, willingness and an open heart. This is sometimes more difficult for individuals who are unwilling to make themselves vulnerable. Yet for those willing to take the chance, emotional intelligence is a lifelong gift that provides the gateway to spiritual intelligence—the interdependent co-arising of events: synchronicity, magic, alchemy, miracles. We all have the capacity to reach that plane of existence if we start with a foundation of emotional intelligence.

I have taken this advice above from Dr. Chopra and applied it to my relationship with “self”, which is the most important relationship we have.  Recently I have been involved in a program that has helped me to go deeper inward; discovering the “me” without limitations.  I have recognized that my experiences in life have mired me in a position of wanting to “predict and control” my life.  This I have come to recognize as fear.  I am learning to “observe and respond” to what is happening around me realizing that the real me has the ability to soar without the limitations I have put on myself in the past.

I am checking my emotional baggage this Valentine’s Day and I am off to explore everything that I am meant to do.  I’ll let you know soon where I am headed and if my baggage arrives or is lost forever.

Sat Nam. 



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