Most of us carry around emotional baggage that causes us to react to people and circumstances in a certain way. This means that anytime we become highly emotional when listening or conversing with another person, or seeing something that relates to a traumatic event in our past, we would be wise to step back and check in on our emotions. This becomes even more important when we find ourselves reacting more strongly than the situation warrants.
Neuroscience has discovered that when information enters the brain during conversation or situations a signal that creates major activity deep down in our brains is released. Our brain then goes into a state of expectation in preparation to build memories with the new incoming information.
Part of this activity is the movement of our existing memories which are linked in some way to new incoming information. These new thoughts move through our brains like a wind through a forest and as the thoughts sweep through research reveals they will activate four to seven memories. These memories will then move into our consciousness, allowing us to become aware of them.
Why is all this neuroscience significant? Because when we think we also feel. Our thoughts in addition to information, have an emotional component to them. If we don’t deal with any “baggage” attached to our thoughts (which will become memories), we are going to react emotionally. When someone says or does something it triggers our existing memories, which have an emotional component attached to them.
This is why its very good idea to sit down regularly with Jesus and to examine our thoughts and why we may have reacted to a person, situation or comment. Many of our reactions have nothing to do with the situation at hand, but rather previous events. Most of our memories are probably healthy and good, but where there is a negative, stressful or unhealthy memory it is wise to reprocess that memory and to apply what God says about it. Otherwise some of our memories and life’s events will keep us captive to our past, and in some cases stuck and in real bondage, which is not what God wants for us. Jesus came to heal, deliver and set us free in every area of our life – memories included. “For who the Son (Jesus) sets free is free indeed“. (John 8:36)
Today take some time to write down one event or conversation in the last week, or from your past that you know still causes you pain or anxiety, and assess what your thoughts and emotional reactions are/were. Then examine what that event or thought triggered in your memory. Seek God honestly as to whether you are carrying emotional and memory baggage and ask for His healing and renewing as you spend time with Him. The people in our life deserve our best and Jesus died and rose again so that we could live free, so let’s not allow any “baggage” from the past continue to dictate to us how we live out today. It is affecting us more than we think!
“Search me, Of God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.…” (Psalm 139:23)
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds“. (Ps 147:2)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28)
Prayer: Lord please help me to understand my emotions and reactions more honestly and please heal me of any past hurts. I want to live my best life now and not be hampered by past events or memories any longer. In Jesus name Amen