How Emotional Baggage Works

Liesel Teversham

Liesel helps HSP introverts to embrace their sensitivity as a superpower, and overcome obstacles so they can thrive. She also works with clients to solve their health issues, and has authored 2 books. More here.

Published on 2020/09/25


Imagine wearing a big backpack.

Every time we felt an emotion and ignored, denied, or suppressed it, it’s like putting the emotion in that backpack, and carrying it with us.

It’s not truly gone, even though we think we’ve successfully ‘dealt’ with it.

We’re still carrying it with us.

Every time we felt hurt, angry, betrayed, sad, frustrated, despondent, disappointed, rushed, overwhelmed, irritated, guilty, cross, annoyed, aggrieved, a loss, criticized, blamed, judged, ashamed, embarrassed…

Every time we

  • didn’t give it proper airtime,
  • didn’t listen to the message it was trying to deliver,
  • didn’t let it fully process out of our mental, emotional and physical bodies…

… without realising, we put it in that backpack and are now carrying a heavy emotional load.

Soon, the other backpackers on the road start bumping against this expanding backpack of ours. Theirs are also getting bigger and heavier, and these packs can’t help bumping against the others.

We feel more and more annoyed as they bump into ours because it hurts, feels irritating and frustrating. We feel more indignant…

“How dare they bump into our backpack? Can’t they look where they’re going?”

That’s exactly how it works.

We feel annoyed when people bump into our hurt places. It’s not really our true selves that they’re bumping into; it’s everything we’ve put into the backpack that are not taken care of or cleaned.

That’s our responsibility, dear sensitive soul… to put down that backpack and slowly, reverently, take a peek inside, and start unpacking it one by one.

Slowly, with great love and compassion for all the dusty spider webs that have built up over the years.


Yes, it takes courage to put this thing down and open it up. It is easier to keep carrying it and just fling the next emotional remnant into it.

The thing is…

It has an impact to keep it in that backpack. On us, and on others. On our physical health, as well as our mental and emotional wellbeing.

There are so many places that the growing contents of this backpack have a detrimental influence.

It’s sacred self-care to find a safe spot under a beautiful, wise tree, in the shade…. To get quiet and humble, to find our courage, to look inside, and take out one piece at a time for careful and gentle cleaning.


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