11 Strategies for Dumping Emotional Baggage

Funny things happen. A couple of weeks ago when I wrote a post on the brutally difficult journey of commitment, I had no plan of turning it into a series. However, your response was strong and God moved.  So, here I am again, back at the mountain! You can find all the Overcoming Emotional Baggage Posts HERE!

Friends, I have done it.
No. I do it.
Again and again.

I make the climb more difficult than it need be. I pick up the emotional baggage over and over again. Almost unconsciously. I’m in constant need of a self-check!

11 Strategies for Dumping Emotional Baggage- Is the weight of your past holding you back from living a life of true freedom?

If you are joining me here for the first time, you can read about the climb here and the emotional baggage here.

This week, I wanted to take it a step further. I received some beautiful comments and emails from readers and friends. I am so thankful they have shared their stories with me and I am honored to be praying for their climb! And it motivated me because it is one thing to talk about laying the baggage at the cross and giving it over to God, but it is truly another thing to actually take the steps to fight our human tendency to hold tightly to it.

I have pegged away at this baggage and climbing thing most of my life. I believe it is an effort we must consciously initiate – again and again. The enemy prowls and wants nothing more than to place our baggage back into our tired hands. Hands, which, sadly enough, can find comfort in the familiarity of the very emotional baggage we want to shed.

So he works …

Knowing he has a chance with our desire for familiarity, he continuously inundates us with opportunities to retrieve the baggage.

We must actively position our armor if we don’t want to find our emotional baggage weighing us down yet again.

We must actively position our armor if we don' want to find our emotional baggage weighing us down yet again #emotionalbaggage Share on X

I mentioned in my post a couple of weeks ago, that I wish I could give you the one-two-three-step process to climbing the mountain all wrapped neatly with a bow. I still can’t do that. There just isn’t one simple strategy because each of us and our stories are so beautifully unique. But, I do know that there ARE pivotal strategies that we all must take in some way, shape, or form.

Most likely, you will have some of these boxes checked because they are a strength of yours. However, I’m convinced, just because we are all so imperfectly beautiful, that most of us will have several areas in which to work.

My personal efforts at positioning my own armor are vast! I guess maybe I’m a slow learner! The beauty of slow learning, though, is that I get to explore a LOT of resources! Hopefully my list of great reads will serve to be reminders of God’s truth to you as they have been to me!

11 Strategies for Dumping Emotional Baggage

  1. Eliminate unnecessary commitments. We must be in prayer and choose to say yes to that which God is calling us, rather than consuming our time with commitments made out of guilt. We also need to be aware of too many “good” commitments. Good commitments can still take us of the right path. If we spread ourselves too thin, we are too exhausted to position our armor and will easily turn and run back down that mountain!

The Best Yes and What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst

  1. Set boundaries. It is okay to be firm with others about our limits. It is okay to not budge too far and then not feel guilty! Protecting boundaries can feel selfish, but it isn’t. God says to love our neighbors as we love ourselves! What we often don’t notice in that command is that we have to love ourselves. Doing so hinges upon that fact. Without loving ourselves well, we will not have the capability of loving others well.

Boundaries by Henry Cloud

  1. Stop the negative chatter inside your brain. Believing the lies of the enemy will make the load so much heavier. God created us beautifully and wonderfully in His image. Nothing less. We must not believe anything different!

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Myers,

Do You think I’m Beautiful? by Angela Thomas,

and So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore

You’re Loved No Matter What:Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect by Holley Gerth

  1. Forgive yourself and others. Christ paid a huge price for us. Not so that we can hold onto grudges towards others or He knew that the bitterness of unforgiveness would eat away at our souls and give us nothing but a life of death as opposed to the life of freedom He so desires for us. We must accept His forgiveness and then forgive ourselves! We must not live a life that implies His sacrifice was in vain! It mustn’t let it hold us down by bringing with it anxiety, depression, doubt, insecurity.

The Gift of Forgiveness by Charles Stanley

  1. Stop Putting Yourself Last. As I mentioned above, God instructs us to love ourselves just as we love others. As women, we tend to try to love others way better than ourselves. We end up putting ourselves at risk of health issues, buy cheap tamoxifen online both physical and emotional which then put a screeching halt to any of the loving of others we long to do!

The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

  1. Hold onto God’s Word. We can have a relationship with Jesus and we can feel His love and He will be with us each step of the way. However,  without knowing His Word in our minds and hearts, we will not be able to understand His will for us nor know how to process decisions that are aligned with His will.

The Bible

The NLT Bible Promise Book by Ronald Beers and Amy E Mason

 The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word by Joyce Meyer

  1. Feed relationships with those who encourage you. God calls us to be encouragers to others. To minister to others. But He also calls us to fill our own cups so that with the overflow we can minister to others. We cannot minister to others with a cup that is half full or nearly empty. We need to make time for those who fill us up and encourage us. Those who share the love of Christ and can give us sound words of wisdom, even when they are not what we want to hear.

Girl Talk by Jen Hatmaker

Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship  by Melanie Shankle

  1. Let go of the opinions of others.  We need to focus on which step God wants us to take up that mountain. Not how others will feel about the step we may be taking. If our efforts are righteous before God, they simply are the correct actions. If we filter every choice through His lens, we can be rest assured that our choice was the right one to make.

The Approval Fix by Joyce Meyer

 The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

  1. Don’t back down to fear. I don’t even need to give a description here. Fear stops us in our tracks. It strips us of our power. It is probably the heaviest piece of baggage we carry.

Get Unstuck Be Unstoppable by Valorie Burton

Fearless by Max Lucado

The Mended Heart by Suzanne Eller

The Confident Heart by Renee Swope

Brave by Margie Warrell (not a christian viewpoint, but full of good stuff)

  1. Be thankful. Being thankful just changes our filter. When we look at the world and life through a thankful filter we are filled with an energy that says “I can” as opposed to “No way”. When I head out for my runs, if my attitude is negative and focused on my lack of sleep or various aches in my body, the run feels HORRIBLE! But when I hit the road with an “I can” attitude looking for the simple but beautiful blessings God has along the path, the toughest part of the battle is already won and the run is fantastic. Lori, at frogslilypad.net stated it this way last week on her blog, “Thankfulness leads to contentment”. I think she was spot on. When we are thankful for the opportunity to climb, we are content with even the difficulty.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

  1. Pray. Surely not last because it is least. Rather saving the best for last!!! Prayer is first and foremost our most powerful weapon to making it to the top of our climb. It is our connection to God and the only way to develop a relationship deep enough to feel His Spirit within us. Prayer changed my life completely. Until I learned the power of prayer, I hadn’t felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Power of a Praying Woman (and all books of that series) by Stormie Omartian

Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore

Spiritual Java by Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, and friends


11 Strategies for Dumping Emotional Baggage Printable

11 Strategies for Dumping Emotional Baggage #letitgo #freedom #emotionalbaggage Share on X

Note … I know some of my favorite books are a little dated, but they are SO good! It reveals my age … Ugh!!  🙂 But it also reveals my journey. God used some of these books (especially the older ones) to help me set that baggage back down each time the enemy tricked me into thinking I needed it again!

My prayer is that God will use my journey to help you through yours. And again, I’d love to be in prayer with you along your mountain climb!

Also, in the comments below, would you list any other books you recommend that have helped you position your armor against emotional baggage? I’d love it if you could help me build my resource list!!!

Missed the other Overcoming Emotional Baggage posts? You can find them HERE!

Wait … Before you go!

Wrapping your arms tightly around your identity in Christ and claiming your privilege as a child of God effects everything we do in life, as well as every relationship in which we engage. Dumping our emotional baggage goes hand-in-hand with that identity. If you would like to commit to intentionally filling your life with content and resources to propel you toward embracing that truth, consider subscribing below!

I sometimes link up with the following fabulous pages!

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  1. Sorry, not sure if that posted. So will try again. Thanks Lori for putting order to the process of dumping emotional baggage, not an easy task, as you acknowledge. My favorite book on the powerful impact of thanksgiving is “Choosing Gratitude.” By Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

    1. Cathy,
      Thanks so much for your encouragement and for your favorite book! I am adding it to my list, for sure!

      Blessings and smiles,

  2. Susan B Mead says:

    Love this post! Thank you for going thru your HOPE LIST above Lori.

    Question ~ would you be open to reviewing Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace on your blog or guest blogging for me with a review? If so, let me know and I’ll get the details to you.

    And thanks for joining the dance at Dance With Jesus, Lori. Your words matter.

    1. Susan,

      Thank you very much for your encouragement! I love your blog and your heart, so I would be more than honored to do a post and review! Thank you for considering me! I’m looking forward to the details 🙂

      Blessings and smiles,

  3. So many wonderful tips in your list. Ones that many of us seem to have a harder time following that we should!

    1. Thanks, Steph!

      Ugh! I know … why is the obvious sometimes so difficult? 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Mary! I will be over to check it out for sure!

  4. I believe when you asked God to break your heart so that you could feel the pain that he feels really worked for you. Your “wanting” to help others, to pray for others, to encourage others, to speak into others lives, to listen to others with all of their Baggage is a true sign of someone who has a heart after Gods own heart. I will always think of you as a rare individual in this world, as Christ was very rare. There’s a huge difference when someone says they care for someone compared to someone that actually “Shows” that they care for someone. Because of your courage and strength to overcome your past fears and maybe even current fears is a testament to us all that we can do the same. Brave Soul you are :0)

    1. Mike,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. We go through struggles and experiences in life and we are left on the other side deciding whether we will follow after Him, allowing Him to use our past for good. Or, if we will hold onto the pain and bitterness, run, and never give it over to Him. It is my desire to use my yuck for His good! I’m thankful for all that He has done and for those He touches through me! Just as you have given God the reigns to make so much good from your story! I, too, am inspired by your passion to follow the Lord and be obedient to all that He places before you!!
      Many blessings and smiles,

  5. God has done His “thing” and nudged me in a direction I had never planned. I love when He moves us to places that we didn’t think we could go to. I love to say, “we all have dirt, Let’s share it”. Glad I am not alone in having baggage. Stopping by from Reflect

    1. Hi Jann,

      I love it! So glad we can share the dirt together! 🙂


  6. jolenephilo says:

    These are such good ideas and so hard to implement and turn into habits. Thank you for adding this to DifferentDream.com’s Tuesday special needs link up.

    1. Thanks so much, Jolene! I love DifferentDream.com and love sharing there!

  7. Hi, Lori!
    “God calls us to be encouragers to others.” Thank you for stopping by and doing just that! I needed it today, and it gave me a plan to implement in one area I hadn’t thought of. Thanks so much, new friend~

    1. Thank you so much for stoppiing back by, Jacquline! I appreciate it and am so thankful you felt encouraged! 🙂

  8. It’s hard to pin it down to a three step process but you did a really good job with this list 🙂 thank you and God bless xx

    1. John,

      Thank you so much for the kind words!
      Many blessings and smiles to you!!!

  9. Lori, these are great strategies. Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom. Blessings to you!

    1. Stacey,
      Thanks so much! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

      Blessings and smiles,

  10. So many beautiful and wise tips here! I love the theme I see growing in this of giving ourselves space and time to listen to God’s voice instead of the voices of shame, fear, and control. And these are so many good book recommendations too! Can’t wait to follow up and read a few. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lauren,
      I am so thankful God touched your heart through this post! He is so good! I hope you enjoy the books and that they help you as they have helped me. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Blessings and smiles,

  11. Lori, I have been enjoying this series. It’s amazing how the Lord brings posts into my life when I need them. Thank you for mentioning my blog, I’m glad you got something out of that post. Thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursdays. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Lori,
      God is so good! I’m so glad the series is benefitting you! I loved that I found that line in your post and knew it said exactly what I was conveying! It has been so fun connecting with so many wonderful bloggers with hearts to use their gifts for God’s good.

      Blessings and smiles,

  12. barbie and I are so blessed you shared this at The Weekend Brew. Your list hits all the areas that I am always working on and exploring to climb my own mountains. Another book you can add to your list under “Stop the negative chatter” is Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee. It is so good and really helped me in that area of “I’m not good enough”. Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Mary,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind words. I am so amazed and thankful when God uses what He has walked me through to impact the lives of others. He is SO GOOD! I love Jennifer’s blog and ministry. I had the book on my to-read list, but now I’ll have to get it even sooner!! Thanks for the addition!!

      Blessings and smiles,

  13. Thanks for the heart felt post. #3 really speaks to me. I have a lot of negative chatter inside my brain. It has caused me to not value myself as I should. But I know how God values each of us so I’m working on this. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Still Saturday.

    1. Rebecca,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so encouraged when I find that God is using what He has brought me through to speak His truth into the lives of others. You are beautifully and wonderfully created, my friend! Never forget it 😉

      Blessings and smiles,

  14. Aubrey Mass says:

    you are amazing!!! Thank you for obeying God and putting these words down to bless others including myself! I Love you LADY

    1. Aubrey, All I can say is Love you MORE!!! 🙂

      Blessings and smiles,

  15. I love the ideas you put forth in this post!! And especially the good books you recommend! I really want my readers to know about this too! I want to share this in my weekly series called “Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday” – I share bloggers’ amazing posts that I’ve found during the week. I hope that’ ok! Have a great night!

    1. Hi Danielle,

      I am so thankful God is seeing fit to put words to the life experiences He has walked me through and then use them for His good! He amazes me everyday with His goodness! And yes, I’d be honored to have you share my post on Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday! I’ll be sure to point to your site, My Snippets of Inspiration, on social media! I look forward to connecting even more in the future!

      Blessings and smiles,

  16. ❤❤❤Love that I came across this pin….You are a breath of fresh air that I most definitely needed to inhale…”Power thoughts and “Mind connection” by Joyce Meyers are two of my favorites??? Many blessings to you Lori

  17. Thank you for sharing your heart and your book list.
    It encourages me to make my list to share.
    Here is my list I just bought these.

    1. The Disease to Please:
    Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome
    Harriet Braiker (Author) 304 PAGES

    2. Pleasing People:
    How Not To Be An “Approval Junkie”
    Lou Priolo (Author)

    3. Soul Keeping:
    Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    John Ortberg (Author) 200 PAGES

    4. When to Speak Up and When To Shut Up
    Dr. Michael D. Sedler

    5. What to Do When Words Get Ugly
    Dr. Michael D. Sedler

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I’m looking forward to looking into these more!