Monday, January 25



by  D.A. Sears

Our communities have become spiritually and psychologically toxic environments. How did our communities get this way? Chaos abounds. Why? Emotional baggage!

Let's go back to the day that you were born.
When you emerged from the womb and entered the space and place we know as Planet Earth -- our global village -- your soul and your spirit were pure . . . intact . . . You were a whole person. You were a sensitive, trusting, compassionate and loving soul. You were curious about the new world you found yourself in. You gurgled with joy and laughter when you were happy and amused. You cried when you were hungry, angry or lonely in the hopes of getting the attention of the adults who were in your world so that you could get what you needed for your intellectual, physical, and emotional development. As time progressed, you developed a vocabulary.
 You began to speak -- first in words -- then in full sentences.  You reached a point where you could clearly articulate what you needed and wanted. You learned these words and sentences from the adults in your immediate environment and from other children. You asked questions about everything you saw, heard, and did not understand. Your eyes sparkled with delight as you made new discoveries about the world inside and outside of your immediate environment. You sang when you were happy. You were resilient, enthusiastic, spontaneous, energetic, and so very imaginative.

And then somewhere during your journey from childhood to adulthood something happened. Maybe it was something that someone you trusted said to you. Maybe he or she told you that you weren't smart or talented or worthy or pretty or handsome. Perhaps when you shared your dreams -- dreams of your future -- with this person, he or she told you that you were not capable of accomplishing what you dreamed about because you weren't smart enough, worthy enough, pretty or handsome enough. What you heard hurt you . . . crushed your spirit and and shook your soul to its core. The pain was too great.

You were too young to learn how to effectively and correctly deal with emotional and psychological pain, disappointment, rejection, and humiliation. No one provided you with the correct "coping tools" that you needed which would have helped you deal with your emotional and psychological pain. So, for your own sanity and survival, you found a way to numb the pain. You kept your ambitions and dreams to yourself. You hid your real emotions. You had to protect yourself.
You were not going to "put yourself out there" ever again and get smacked around. You pretended to yourself that you didn't feel the pain of ridicule, rejection, disappointment and humiliation. You silently told yourself, "I don't feel this pain -- this disappointment -- this humiliation -- this rejection." 

And on the conscious level, perhaps you were able to numb the pain.
But you can never fool your soul and your spirit. So, what happened to the pain? It made its way to the floor of your soul. Throughout your journey from childhood to adulthood, every disappointment, every rejection, every humiliation made its way to the floor of your soul. The floor of your soul is cluttered with layers upon layers of pain from disappointments, rejections, scorn, and humiliation. These layers of pain are "clutter". And the "clutter" that resides on the floor of your soul that is choking the life out of your spirit is "emotional baggage". This emotional baggage drives every decision that you make.

You cannot separate yourself from your emotional baggage.
You drag it to work, to school, into your marriage or your relationship with your significant other, into your parenting, into your children's lives, and into the lives of your friends and neighbors. Everywhere you go, your emotional baggage follows. It is the reason you are unhappy, unmotivated, unproductive, unsuccessful, angry, and violent. It is the reason that you feel abandoned, unloved, and unworthy. It is the reason that you are a bully or an abuser. It is the reason that you allow yourself to be abused or bullied. 
It is the reason you allow the wrong people to enter and share your most intimate and sacred place. It is the reason that you are unable to and cannot fulfill your destiny and do the work that you were here on Earth to do. It is the reason you do not understand that you have an obligation to overcome the environment that you were born into. It is the reason that you are self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, food, or sex. It is the reason why you are in a prison cell.

Emotional baggage distorts your reality.
Having said that, is there any wonder why there is so much chaos and drama in our communities? While "emotional baggage' may act as a cushion for pain, it prevents you from being the joyful, unconditionally loving, compassionate, and trusting person that you were when you emerged from the womb.

No one may have given the emotional and psychological tools that you needed to resolve in a healthy manner the pain, disappointments, humiliation, and rejection that one experiences in life when you were a child. It may have been because no one had these tools to give or teach you. But that was the past. Let's look at the present and the future. You are an adult and can make decisions for yourself. You can get the emotional and psychological tools that you need to remove the layers of "clutter" on the floor of your soul. It is safe to give yourself permission to lay your burden down. Think of it as an investment in yourself, your family, your community, and the world.

About the Author
Diane A. Sears
is the Managing Editor of a quarterly international male parenting journal -- IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) Forum For and About the Fathers of the World and a member of the University Council for Akamai University in connection with its Fatherhood and Men's Studies program. Ms. Sears has published interviews of more than 100 Men who are Fathers.

She has authored and published reviews of numerous books which explore Fatherhood and men's rights issues, including "Father And Child Reunion" by Warren Farrell, Ph.D.; "Swallowed By A Snake: The Gift Of The Masculine Side Of Healing," by Thomas R. Golden, LCSW; and "The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Single Father" by Thomas Hoerner.

Sears is featured in the 2003-2004 National Register's Who's Who In Professionals and Executives and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Diane A. Sears
Twitter: @DASears


Order The Book:  IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) facilitates a Global Dialogue on Fatherhood and Men's Issues and brings together stakeholders from all Walks of Life throughout our global village who offer key "pieces of the puzzle" to empowering Fathers; strengthening and healing our families and our communities; and creating a better and safer world for our children.  In Search Of Fatherhood by D. A. Sears. Amazon Link:

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