When our emotional baggage has been activated by in incident, we have no idea how others are feeling. Our baggage regards other people as things. It automatically depersonalizes, dehumanizes and marginalizes individuals. It can only handle others as objects to manipulate, control and deceive. People cannot be understood, empathized with or shown compassion. We are too scatterbrained at the time to handle the complexity of considerations involved with people seeming real to us. Their point of view, feelings, needs or way of seeing us is too much to ask us to process. We simplify the complexity by regarding people as things.
As I've been developing the workbook to resolve baggage issues, the metaphor of becoming "scatterbrained" has proven useful. The original negative experience can be imagined as an explosion in our minds. We cannot keep it together because the incident was so alarming, upsetting and disorienting. We know what happened and little else. We fail to gather up the pieces through reflection on what occurred to understand how it happened, why or what to make of it . We stick with the original story that threw us for a loop and shattered our illusions. We are left scatterbrained by the explosion in our minds.
When we handle a crisis situation calmly and competently, we come to know a lot more about the situation. We cultivate a sequential picture of how it happened, what led up to it and what was missing to prevent its occurrence. We develop a theory about why it happened, what cycles connected the components and what patterns played out in the situation. We may even come around to value the experience as a lesson we learned, as expanded awareness we gained or as a provocation to make some changes ourselves.
One way to resolve our baggage is to fill in this missing knowledge. We can get a better picture, theory and basis for valuing the experience of what happened. We see the same facts about the incident with far more depth and insight. We then contain the previous explosion. We stop becoming scatterbrained when something reminds us of what happened back then.