Are you carrying emotional baggage in the form of unresolved issues (past/present), negative emotions, unhealthy mindsets, and the like? If so, have you considered the impact of this on your life? The truth of the matter is that your emotional baggage can render you ineffective in your home, office, church, community, etc. Just like marathon runner, running with a backpack full of rocks, your baggage can have a severe impact on your ability to finish your race or even finish well.
Now, when it comes to dealing with our emotional baggage, many of us have a challenge because we either deny the obvious, pretend everything is ok or are blinded to our issues. And so, you may find yourself wearing a mask to hide what’s going on, deep within you. Talking from experience, it takes more effort to keep up the facade than dealing with ones excess weight.
Also, in attempting to deal with your emotional baggage, you may turn to food (comfort or binge eating), alcohol, work, money/spending, sex, drugs, etc just to keep your boat afloat. This is something I can relate to personally. Eating was one of the ways I adopted to make myself feel better. Of course, this had serious impact on my weight (to say the least). Another behaviour I adopted was buying items (e.g. clothes, bags and shoes). In the long run, neither of these approaches helped me deal with my issues, as their effects were never lasting. Sadly, if you have fallen into the trap of repeating the same patterns of behaviour hoping that the next ‘fix’ will end your problems, you have probably realised by now that they don’t. Instead, they create further problems for you, further down the line.
So what is the answer? Simply put, get God involved. When it comes to dealing with our issues, some of us leave Him out of the loop. We look to ourselves to fix our issues, based on self-help notions. And so we try this and then we try that. But let me ask you this, when last did you sincerely bring that burden or issue to God? Have you spoken to Him about how you are feeling or what you are going through? These sound so basic but how often do we do it? I remember a time when I would tell God everything or trust Him for great things. However, I left matters of the heart out of the equation. Was it that I thought He didn’t care? Was is that I thought my issues were trivial in comparison to what I perceived to be more important matters such as giants to slay, souls to be saved, revival in the church, or the like? Or maybe I did not believe God could heal my wounded heart (though I believed in healing)? Honestly speaking, I don’t know the answer. But the fact is that God cares about the big and little things in our lives. Moreover, He can heal all facets of our lives too.
Therefore, consider adopting God-centred approaches for we cannot accomplish anything apart from Him (John 15:5). Instead of trying to fill the void of your soul with precarious behaviours, why not allow God in? After all, His ways are proven and are worthy to be trusted (Psalm 33:4). Moreover, we have His promise of being our healer (Exodus 15:26). Now, I am not saying sit back and do nothing. Rather, I suggest you make God the centre of your plan of action. Commit your ways to Him, trust Him and watch Him help you (Psalm 37:5).
So how do you get God involved? You do this through prayer and reading of His Word. Continually seek Him for insight and guidance as He may have things to reveal to you. It may be that He wants you to forgive that person that wounded your heart. Maybe there is a specific action He wants you to take such as seeking help or talking to someone (James 5:13-16). Whatever it is, your answer lies with Him.
So I encourage you to commit your emotional baggage to God. Allow Him to free you permanently from all that heavily besets you. Let Him help you experience what it means to prosper in your soul (3 John 2).
Gladys Famoriyo, award-winning author, speaker and coach, is the author of Overcoming Emotional Baggage: A Woman’s Guide To Living The Abundant Life (ISBN: 0-924748-73-7). Gladys is passionate about developing God's people and provides a number of services for individuals, groups, churches and organizations. To find out more or subscribe to her eZine, log on to www.gladysf.com or call +44 (0) 870 750 1969.