Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Give Back the Burden

I chuckle as I hear the children in my life saying the same things I once said. An adult would tell me to pick up a toy or dirty dish and my response would be, "But that's not mine." I believed that whoever left their toy or dirty dish should be the one to pick it up. There are occasions when I wish I had kept that simple, childlike logic.

As we become adults we develop an unhealthy tendency to take other people's stuff—stuff that doesn't belong to us—as our own. Someone hurts us and we pick up that hurt—and the assumptions of why we were chosen for it—and lug all of that around like our favorite accessory. We take other people's negativity, sadness, guilt, shame, and dysfunction. We not only take it, we own it. We carry the baggage for so long that it becomes a part of us. We don't even recognize that the tension we clutch can be released as soon as we set it free—as soon as we decide to set ourselves free.

Someone's choice to mistreat you says nothing about your worth and everything about his/her inability to value it. Someone's abusive actions may be shameful, but that shame is not yours. That negativity, put it down. That sadness, relinquish it. That guilt, let it go. That shame, give it back. You were never required to pick up and lug the heaviness of others as your own. Let go of the weight that was never intended for you to carry. Give back the burden. Give it all back. It's not yours. It never was.

Read last week's post, Clarity.

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