We all carry weight. Every day, in different ways. Some of us manage it better than others, but we all carry it. The bill you know needs to be paid next Thursday. The project deadline you have coming up in a month. The argument you had with your loved one last evening that is still unresolved. The lab results you’re waiting on from the doctor’s office that you’re hoping, desperately, don’t carry with them bad news. The guilt over yelling at your child exactly like your father used to yell at you, even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t this time. Weight. It’s always there.
Not only is it consistent, but it is constantly changing its size; forcing us to make choices about what additional things we’re going to take on…what else we decide to carry. Some of the burdens we bear are necessary, almost mandatory (bills, family, health, etc.); we must shoulder and manage them the best we know how. But others are a choice. We have the option of adding to our loads, or avoiding the heavier burdens that may be trying to creep up our shoulders, just by making a different decision. You would think that deciding to lighten the load would be easy. But often times I think it’s actually more difficult simply because we don’t realize that it truly is just that – a choice.
Maybe we avoid choosing because it sometimes requires us to sacrifice things we want or need, or even sacrifice other people in order to lessen our own burden. We so often sacrifice our own well-being for everyone else’s; it’s human nature, after all. But what we fail to see is that by doing so, time and time again, taking on all of this weight so that others don’t have to, we create a load so burdensome that eventually we can’t continue to carry it. But how will we be available to all those we’re trying to aid if we’ve effectively lost ourselves, crushed under our own solitary burden?
If only we would allow ourselves to let some of it go – unload the weight that is not ours to bear. Many of these burdens are just that…not ours, but we bear them just the same. We think of it as selfish to be self-protecting. But so much suffers as a result; our health, our families, our jobs. Everything is subject to the fallout when we break from carrying too much. Unfortunately, we often only realize this too late, long after the pieces are already scattered.
I was reminded today that we all carry weight. And I was also reminded that it is okay to give yourself permission to lay some of it down. By doing so you are not a failure, you are not giving up, you are not sacrificing others, and you are not admitting defeat. You are simply acknowledging the limits of your being. For this brief moment, allow yourself the gift of being UN-burdened. The weight can wait.