Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the things we try to carry

Atlas was convinced that if he didn't hold up the world,
the world would fall.

These are not my words.
They were given to me.
They describe me
and perhaps you.

"I was one of those children. I was often called too sensitive, too emotional, too day-dreamy. But as I grew older, as life visited us with hardships that life inevitably brings to all families, it was I who was needed to carry the burden of my family's inability to feel. Without having my capacity to feel ever valued or acknowledged, I was the one to shoulder the family sadness with the brunt of my heart.

I have come to understand that there is a huge difference between sharing someone's pain and bearing it. Too many times, those in pain use the concern of loved ones as a way to ground what they don't want to feel themselves. The way electricity runs off into the ground during a storm, they mistakenly use others to run their sadness and pain into the ground of those who care. Too often, we want others to hold our sadness or pain because we won't take the risk to ask them to hold us while we are hurting....

When unable to stay within ourselves, we become codependent, never feeling at peace until the emotions of everyone around us are manage and tended - not so much out of compassion, but as a way to quiet our anxious burden as carriers of sadness....

The work becomes that of making an accurate inlet of the heart without closing off to the feelings of others....Though some of us were trained to carry the sadness and pain of others, the fiber of the one heart we were given is strong and light enough by itself to bring us to the wind that is whispering. Let down, let go, the world will carry you."
- Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening)

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