The other day I read an article about unpacking relationship baggage. As I read the article I could not help but notice how draining, carrying old baggage can be. You see when one carries relationship baggage, they are carrying unhappy memories about past relationships. If one is not aware of these, they carry those memories into new relationships and are never quite fully present.
As I pondered that, I wondered, would it not be more worthwhile if one could be empowered to dump the baggage before the next relationship. Could it be worthwhile to have a clear picture of what a great relationship could look like?
Then my quirky mind took me to actually unpacking my physical baggage from my suitcase and the behaviors I choose when unpacking. If I have clean clothes in my bags, I hang on to them and put them away to use at a later time. So, when it comes to the relationship one could hang on to what is good and save the good items for their tool-box and add them to their pictures of good relationships.
Next, while unpacking my bag, I take the dirty clothes and put them in the hamper to be washed and cleaned. Think about the relationship baggage. In this case some things were bad but a lot has been learned from this. It is possible to have a thorough look at the situations and determine what part one had in that and wash themselves clean of negative behaviors and create a new behavior to use in a new relationship. For instance, getting defensive in a discussion, when one could just listen and respond in a careful way without losing it.
Then there are the toiletries that one uses over and over again. There are the favorite toothpaste, combs, make-up, underarm deodorant, etc. These things are the habits that occur daily that an individual feels pretty good about. So how does one use the positives in one’s lives? These are things that are important to us. Here is an opportunity to think about what one truly likes and what is non-negotiable and what one would be willing to compromise on in a new relationship. It comes down to knowing what someone values and believes. I think this can be linked to compatibility.
In poor relationships sometimes people give up things they really enjoy doing because their partner may not like doing it. But if they do too much of that, eventually when the infatuation wears off, resentment will set in and unhappiness comes along because one is no longer enjoying the things they like to do.
Sometimes in our suitcase we have souvenirs or memories of our trip that remind us of the good times. There will always be behaviors or other things that remind us of past experiences but when I unpack my suitcase if there is something that no longer serves me, I throw it away. We need to maintain our awareness of this
Keep the good and discard the bad and be pro-relationship.