January 8, 2013

The (Emotional) Baggage Tossers.

Duck quick!! Another one is coming!

Ouch! That one caught me sideways, I didn’t even see it!

As I get older, I find the amount of baggage one human being can carry to be incapacitating toward any kind of healthy relationship. I have witnessed it, not just with dating and love relationships, but friendships too.

Today, I am focusing on dating and love relationships.

It’s amazing how we interpret what someone else is saying or doing into having so much impact on ourselves, personally.

I was on an online dating site; I was talking to a few men, enjoying some of the conversations. I tried to apply awareness to how I would feel when I spoke with each one: did my gut register a yes or a no vote?

The few times I chose to ignore the tiny nudge from my gut, I found it went from a nudge to my being immobilized to continue the conversations.

There were very clear signs that I was entering a danger zone toward someone who wasn’t going to be a good match for me. It didn’t take long for my gut to say no, but sometimes it was the time to find the kind way to move on.

To be clear, I’m talking about strangers; people I have been communicating with for a few days. Men that I hadn’t spoken with on the phone, but maybe exchanged a few texts and emails. There was no intimacy, nor was there any real relationship.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

In the most dramatic response to my words of moving on and wishing someone well, I received raging words asking me, “How could I do this to him/I’m no good/We were starting a great relationship (huh?)/I lead him on, played games, etc…” I didn’t actually read all the words, because they weren’t mine to own.

But, I found myself scratching my head at how people feel a sense of entitlement to unleash their anger, their baggage on total strangers. And at the same time, how some of these same people attach themselves to someone so quickly.

I was speaking to a male friend recently. He told me about a woman who he had taken by his house to pick up something while they were on a date, only to have her show up, unannounced, a few days later. Why did she think that was okay?

Even if you believe you are being compassionate and kind, you are still rejecting someone and it can escalate into something dramatic before you blink your eyes. Even if you abstain from responding to the individual, they can continue to harass or throw baggage your way until you legally stop them or change your number.

I’ve had friends experience this phenomenon.

Rejection is harder for people as they get older. It seems disappointment is more than they can bear. If they haven’t processed or worked out what has happened in other relationships, they bring that anger, sadness and neediness forward to the next person.

Looking for signs of familiarity is what most people do unconsciously.

Unless you’re aware, you’re looking for the same Mr. or Mrs. Goodbar, again.

In starting conversations with strangers, we look for points of commonality. When you’re unaware, you look for someone who seems a lot like that old, unresolved relationship.

You want it healed or numb and when you have no clue that it’s an internal job, you look for that same person to yank off the scab.

Then, you think you’ve struck gold finding that person! The one who will release you from your prison, because you’ve placed them on the pedestal; they’re “it!!!” After three email or text conversations, you know it! Only to find they reject you just like someone else did….it’s more than you can take. You lose it! How could it happen again?  

It will keep happening to those who remain unaware and don’t take responsibility  for their part in their own life. As long as the awareness doesn’t recognize the pain within, no change will happen.

It’s what makes people who fling baggage so dramatic and the only power to stop it is to do the “inside job.” Shine a light on the darkness, what does it show? Be with it, allow the pain to come to the surface; accept.

When you meet someone, it’s very important to pay attention to your gut and to understand when you don’t, that the stakes grow higher.

Be present, be honest and know why you are walking into the lion’s den when you do, that way you may not stay as long next time.



Ed: Bryonie Wise


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