Is your garbage bag full?

Is your garbage bag full?

Living in the world is not all plain sailing, and we learn this from the moment we are born. Many of us enter the world screaming our little lungs out, and if not, it’s not too long before we let others clearly know that our needs are not being met! Thankfully for everyone around us, we grow out of being so demanding with our needs and our upsets, and we learn some social skills and social refinements as we mature. However, having some good skills does not fully protect us from the various ways in which we are affected by our experiences and our hurts. As we journey through life, we cop all sorts of knocks and bruises. Some of our experiences leave us feeling upset, angry, hurt, jealous, bullied, etc.

Mostly, we are able to continue on after each experience, no matter how upset or hurt we may have become, because we have learnt some coping skills along the way. We roll with the punches, so to speak, and then move on. Some of the knocks may tumble us more than others, but after a while we generally find a way to move on. The social skills that we have learnt may assist us in responding to our experiences and enable us to move on, but what about the experiences themselves, and the not-so-pleasant ways in which we have been affected? What happens to all the emotional upset we have felt? Does it all just disappear, and that’s the end of it?

So we have the garbage bag theory. This may be the first time you have ever heard of it, being the first time I have ever expressed it in writing! It goes like this:bin3

Everyone is born with an inbuilt emotional garbage bag. Generally speaking, we put aside our emotional hurt so that we can keep going on with our lives. The Garbage Bag theory suggests that the hurt and upset gets dumped into the emotional garbage bag, and then we are able to keep on functioning in our lives. We do this unwittingly, and it may even be the case as time goes on, that we have forgotten about some of the experiences and hurts that have been dumped in the bag. Over the years, as more and more stuff is dumped, the emotional garbage bag begins to fill up.

It may be that after a while, the garbage bag gets full. Again, this is something that we may not even realise (especially if we didn’t realise that we had an emotional garbage bag in the first place!). What we may notice however, is that we have become snappy, teary, anxious or lethargic, or we have developed sleeping or eating problems, or we have become generally disinterested in life without any explanation. Some people may feel that they are stressed all the time. If you can relate to any of these symptoms and have noticed that they are ongoing for you, i.e. they are frequent or chronic, there is a good chance that your garbage bag is full. As is the case with any garbage bag, the emotional bag needs to be emptied when it becomes full.

There are various methods of emptying the emotional garbage bag: all of them involve healing work. Some healing methods that can help are: kinesiology; reiki; eft (Emotional Freedom Techniques); spiritual healing; and professional counselling. When unpleasant experiences and emotions are healed, they no longer occupy space in the emotional garbage bag; instead, they are carried with more comfort and ease in our bodies, as opposed to discomfort or dis-ease. It may be the case that there are triggers from time to time that send reminders of experiences that were previously held in the emotional garbage bag. There is a difference however, between the discomfort from reminders or relapses, and the discomfort of the previous chronic condition.bin4

Through healing work, there is often a complete shift in the way we hold the experience, and we may move from hurt and pain to love and peace. This may seem incomprehensible from the outset, but we all know people who have reported that their most difficult experience has turned out to be a great gift.

Remember, your mental and emotional health care is just as important as your physical health care, and there is growing evidence that supports the interconnection of body, mind and spirit.

Attending to my health requires me to be aware of all aspects of myself.

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