Lightening the load

How we deal with our circumstances usually determines how heavy or light the load will be. Our perspective and attitude determine how large or small that load will be, but we mustn’t allow our baggage to weigh us down.

Unfortunately, we not only carry our own baggage, but we also unconsciously opt to carry other people’s baggage too, in the form of resentment and anger, as if their resentment and anger is our fault.

In other circumstances, we allow other people’s issues to become ours. Even if their decisions do become ours, we carry their issues, as if they’re our own. We allow what people say to cloud our judgment, making us feel bad and in some cases, ruining our lives.

We’re not responsible for other people, their issues, their decisions, or their happiness; but we emotionally carry them as if we are. It takes us many years to understand the correlation that ‘other people’s stuff’ isn’t always ours to carry: it’s misplaced guilt that has no where else to go, but it’s not our guilt to carry.

Other people may play the victim, or use the guilt trip to make us feel bad, in some cases to get us to do what they want. If we disagree, they may try to elicit an emotional reaction from us because we’re not doing what they want, but we must remain steadfast.

What they don’t understand is that their issues will always be their issues, whether they try to offload their issues on us or not. Choose to lighten the load anyway.

4 Jan, 2017

4 thoughts on “Lightening the load

  1. Yes, it would be fantastic to be able to lighten my load, seeing as I feel like a good 90% isn’t even my own. My mother, whether she realized it or not, heaped on the guilt, shame and remorse that we knew nothing about, but took it on like it was our own.

    My Dad seemed to hold it against us that he stayed with our mother for our sake, but he didn’t really do us any favors by doing so. We would have been better off going into foster care even if we would have been separated because there were four of us.

    I think that’s one of the worst thing a parent can do is to make their kids feel guilty for existing, when it wasn’t their choice to be born in the first place.

    Now I imagine the trick is learning how to let go of what you have been carrying for so long that you’re used to it. I have to wonder how many people go on to the end, burdened by generations of toxic shame that has poisoned their entire lives?

    Usually you don’t have to look very far to find examples of it, in the world around you whether you know them or not. There are even some who wear it like a badge of honor, as if being such horrible people is a thing to be proud of, like on that show Shameless.

    You eventually become immune to the fact that your normal life is like a daily episode of the Jerry Springer show and it doesn’t bother you.

    It definitely bothers me, which is why I know I need to work that much harder to finally lighten that load which I feel like I have been carrying for an eternity.

    1. Thanks Randy. Carrying years of guilt which isn’t yours will make what you deal with worse, particularly when some of what happened with your parents could have been avoided. I have had that too.

      You know that 90% of the things you had to deal with weren’t yours, so you can change some of the 90% You can’t change your parents’ inability to deal with their issues around you and your siblings, but you can change by trying to put a stop to some of those earlier patterns.

      I believe nothing is set in stone, we can change and turn things around so that we lighten some of the load.

  2. If we don’t recognize it, we may not take the necessary steps to lighten our loads; this blog provides key insights to that.

    Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is my health, since lightening my load will surely improve that.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, you’re right. Health is the backbone to life; without which, we have no life. Lightening the load and learning not to carry so many issues (ours or someone else’s) will help us emotionally and that keeps us physically well.

      It would go on to take me many years to change, but I didn’t stop ever finding a way through. That’s important. We mustn’t give up working finding a way through and keeping our health in tact as we go.

      As you say, the key is recognition. Recognising the signs. That needs to happen first before anything else.

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