A painful past is not referred to as emotional baggage without good reason. Negative thoughts about experiences can certainly weigh you down. Much like real luggage, they are a burden if they are heavy. If you want to travel light, you need to drop distressing memories before they damage countless aspects of your life.
People often think in terms of bad romantic relationships when they speak of emotional baggage. However, you can be acutely influenced by any experiences that you regard as negative. Whether you are angry with your mother for not showing you enough love, or furious with an ex partner who let you down, the weight that you bare can have unhealthy consequences.
What Emotional Baggage Does
Much like a wave, emotional baggage can gain momentum as experiences that hurt you grow in your mind. Moreover, the simple act of holding on to them is dis-empowering since it brings you down. Forming new relationships or embracing fresh opportunities can be tough when you carry a heavy load on your shoulders.