Baggage is defined as an event or a specific relationship with a family member, peer or partner that has created a positive or negative memory for your life story. There are a lot of examples of baggage, but I can provide a few below some adults experience that may hinder the dating process or their overall outlook on relationships:
• Change in relationship or marital status (e.g. recent divorce, separation or break up)
• Change in family dynamics as a child (e.g. parents separation)
• Exposure to trauma
• Grief and Loss
• Change in career status
• Childhood events (e.g. bullying, birth of a sibling, blended family)
The process of clearing out baggage can vary based on how many “bags” someone has. Therefore, to take a closer look at what the “Clearing Baggage” process looks like,lets use “Change in Marital Status” as an example. Below you will find 5 Steps an individual should go through to appropriately process their baggage.
Step 1: Identify the Baggage - I recently became single after my divorce 1 year ago.
Step 2: Determine the Impact of the Baggage - After reflecting on my last year in the dating arena, I have realized that my confidence is very low and I have poor communication skills when I have to assert my needs to others (e.g., setting boundaries and saying no). I learned this about myself by reviewing reoccurring themes that have come up with those I have dated in the past year and I realized that it also was an issue in my marriage that resulted in conflict.
Step 3: Awareness - Now that I am aware of my baggage (e.g., confidence and communication deficits), if I want to successfully date and have a healthy future relationship, I have to get help in these areas.
Step 4: Taking Action - I have decided to make an appointment with a life coach to work through these areas to ensure that I learn how to communicate with others effectively. I also will address why my confidence has become low over the past few years and strategies I can implement to build it back up.
Step 5 - Patience - Now that I have identified and cleared out my baggage, I feel much better about dating. I know that the relationships I am building with others will be healthy because my past cannot influence the outcome.
Now that you understand the definition of baggage and benefits of clearing it out, ask yourself “How many bags do you possess that you have not opened or cleared out; Has your baggage negatively impacted the outcome of past relationships?”
If you answered yes to either of these two questions, you may want to take a step back, clear out your baggage and ensure that you are ready to move forward in the dating process. Otherwise, you may carry these bags into a future relationship.
Interested in clearing out come baggage? Schedule a consult with Doctor TK @firstname.lastname@example.org