We all have emotional baggage, some more than others. Most people do not even recognize why they react or live their life a certain way or if they do, they still let their past define them. Sometimes a long ago insecurity or hurt, which you thought buried, will resurface and the same emotion floods back. I don’t think people realize that hurtful and cruel comments, made as a joke, can have an impact on you years later. Even successful people, who seem to have the world by the tail, can be floored by an inadvertent nasty remark, which brings back the hurtful situation as if time had not even passed. It would be wonderful if we could have a “mind cleanser” to wipe away negative childhood memories, but I don’t think that technology exists. Although I am very self-aware, I still seem to be powerless to prevent conjuring up an old childhood hurt and running with it. Today, I was getting back in my car from the pharmacy, when I heard “barking” coming from the car parked next to me. It startled me because I thought there was a real “dog” in the car with the window open, but it wasn’t. What I saw were two young men, and the “barker” uttered something like an apology, which I didn’t hang around to hear. I’m not even really sure what that was all about but what I do know was an old incident that I thought dead and buried materialized, along with the intense hurt I originally felt. One day, when I was nineteen and very pregnant, I was walking when two A-holes came up to me and said, “Hi ugly.” Now, anybody else who didn’t have that basic insecurity brought on by my parents (being told I was not pretty, stupid, had a horse face, etc.), would not have been too bothered by that. But I remember the rage, shame and anger I felt, culminating with a severe crying jag. You see I believed them. Over the years I certainly realized that I am not “ugly” inside or out, am very smart, and even have felt pretty. But today, over forty years later, that same old emotion came flooding back as fresh as if it just happened. Now, I really do not know if that “barking” was supposed to imply that I was a “dog” , but of course I automatically assumed that it was. I kept telling myself to just “forget it”, yet it bothered me and actually affected my day. This is something I need to work on, not letting old baggage (negative voices) from my childhood impact me.