Commode To Joy

finding happy (even in the crappy)

Getting Rid of Emotional Baggage

Do you remember that time you didn’t come up with the perfect comeback and you’ve replayed it in your mind again and again getting more cutting each time?

Remember when you made an ass of yourself at the work function and you’ve never quite gotten over it?

Remember that ex whose mere memory still pisses you off?

Remember that childhood experience that’s stayed with you into adulthood?

We all have those moments that we’d do differently if given a chance. Or moments that you’d rather forget altogether but they just keep coming back.

A couple weeks ago I overheard a woman in a restaurant talking about this very notion.

She looked to be in her sixties talking to her male dining companion about her mother.

As a girl, this woman’s mother had a particularly bothersome habit: drinking coffee. She couldn’t stand the smell of it.

“She’d have friends over and would tell me, ‘Go get a cup of coffee for Pam.’ That coffee maker in the kitchen. Always percolating. Smelling up the whole house. I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee, and she knew it. She’d say, ‘Oh you’re just a kid, you’re fine.’”

But decades later, she still isn’t “fine” from it. In fact, I’m guessing she’s been talking about it for a long time to whomever will listen.

I’m not a psychology expert. I’m not a life coach. The only thing I’m licensed to do is drive. But I know trying the same thing again and again while expecting different results is ineffective.

If you’re carrying a memory with you that you’d like to rewrite. That’d you’d like to move on from. If you’ve talked about it with people who seem unsympathetic. If you’ve shared it with no one, yet still, it haunts you. Here’s something different to try.

[bctt tweet=”If you’re carrying a memory you’d like to rewrite. If you’ve talked about it with people who seem unsympathetic. If you’ve shared it with no one, yet still, it haunts you. Here’s something different to try.” username=”CommodeToJoy”]

The following are three steps that I do to get over emotional baggage. They’re an amalgamation of techniques I’ve learned plus one I created for myself. You can do this from the comforts of anywhere. My favorite is in bed before falling asleep, but any quiet space will do.

Step One – Forgiveness

This stems from Ho’oponopono, a Hawaiian forgiveness practice.

Close your eyes and picture the specific person and scenario you’re carrying with you. Then say the following words. (Note, thinking the words counts. Also, don’t get hung up over the order.)

“I love you. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you.”

You might think this odd – to profess love, apologize, ask forgiveness, and give thanks for something that may have happened to you. Try it anyway.

Through these words, your role as victim shifts. You’re reclaiming that piece of you that was left behind.

That’s what you’ve been talking about all these years – a loss of self. You exchanged that part of you for the jumbled up mess of emotions you’ve been feeling ever since. Swap them out again.

“I love you. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you.”

You don’t have to get more specific than this. You don’t have to explain anything. Just say the words. Feel them. Mean them. Then it’s time for step two.

Step Two – Letting Go

Imagine, if you will, a chord attached from that person to yourself.

Ever since the occurrence, you’ve been attached to this person, even if you haven’t seen them for years. Even if they’re deceased. There’s still a link there. It’s time to cut the chord.

Picture a pair of golden scissors, and with them, cut the chord. One snip will do. Poof. No more tie. Not in that scenario anyway.

Now you’ve made amends, and you’ve freed yourself. It’s time for step three.

Step Three – Reclamation

You know those movie scenes when a parent drops to their knees as their child runs into their arms? That’s what you’re going to do for yourself.

Welcome that past you back home to the present you. With open arms and a loving hug, welcome her. It’s a homecoming. A reunion. All the love and affection you wished you’d had all those years ago? You just gave it to yourself.


I hope these three steps help you as much as they’ve helped me, and I wish you well.


Categories: Encouragement

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2 replies

  1. I’ve written on this topic myself. Playing the victim is never good. Trying to change the past is a trap far too many people fall into. The best course of action is to accept what was, affirm that is isn’t your current reality, and step forward. I like your 3 steps and think they are the type of visualization that many people need to practice to be able to step into the future unburdened!

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