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How often do you think about the emotional or mental baggage you carry? It may be the slow burn of a grudge you’ve held for years, the barbed sting of insults you’ve felt, or the grating result of bad service. Maybe it’s a friend or grumpy co-worker who comes to you with a complaint, or just feeling that life isn’t fair. You try to help by listening, nodding, and offering suggestions, but a solution doesn’t seem to be what they’re after. No, it’s someone to share in their suffering, someone to carry their problems for them. On top of your own.
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An article in NBC news goes into detail on the effects of this mental load on our health and how heavy it really feels, like straps digging into our shoulders. We may also be just as guilty of unloading our own problems from time to time. My first recognition of this situation happened when I read Catullus’ Carmina 22 in Latin class: To each one of us one’s own mistakes have been assigned; Sed non videmus, manticae quod in tergost --but we do not see the knapsack that is on our own back.
“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” is a saying I’ve seen in various forms. If something isn’t making your life better by giving you happiness, comfort, fond memories, why hold on to it? Have you ever taken a vacation for which you packed way more than you needed? Emotional baggage is just like that. Lighten your load by mentally opening your carpet bag and as you pull out each item, ask yourself how it serves you. Do you really need one more negative thought? Say goodbye to that burden.
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Talking through our problems with friends can be cathartic. Having to put into words, spoken or written, how we feel often identifies the real problem as well as the feelings we harbor. But let others carry their own bags, just as you carry your personal baggage. You don’t have to be callous or uncaring, and it’s better for the unloader if you help them recognize problems as their own. It’s far better for someone to resolve issues in a way that matters to them, in a way that they can manage, and at the time they are able. So lighten your own load, and don’t take others’ burdens home.
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Holding a grudge is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyanderson/2015/04/07/resentment-is-like-taking-poison-and-waiting-for-the-other-per son-to-die/#12155c71446c