Are You Gonna Carry That Weight?
I remember my mom singing around the house when I was a child. Oh, believe me, she wasn't feeling so joyful that she couldn't contain herself. It wasn't a cheerful humming but rather a sad, lamenting moan. The lyrics were always the same: "Make the world go away, and get it off my shoulders . . ." (by Eddy Arnold). I'm not a fan of the song, but I've been humming that to myself this past week as I have been carrying around burdens that are really weighing me down.
Sometimes it seems as though it would be much easier to carry a fifty pound suitcase around the entire day than it is to carry those things that have no physical weight at all. Things like fear, anger, sadness, frustration, blame, regret, and shame put more pressure on my body, mind, and soul than would the suitcase. These invisible disturbances become as substantial as my mind will allow them to be. And if there's one thing I'm good at lately, it's turning thin air into concrete heavy enough to crush me. It can get overwhelming, exhausting, and downright frightening trying to hold the weight of all that pressure. It occurred to me last night that I don't have to lug the world around on my shoulders. I can take it off and put it down. Better yet, I don't have to pick it up to begin with.
Similarly, there were several days last week when my cell phone would not stop ringing. As I was on the phone dealing with one crisis, a text was coming through. While responding to the text, an email popped up. Each situation was stressing me to the max, and I actually thought for a moment of throwing the phone violently out the glass window in the room where I was exercising. How much simpler it would have been to simply shut the phone off -- to take the world off my shoulders -- for a moment, an hour, or God-forbid the entire night! All I had to do was to turn it off, and put it away.
I have to remind myself constantly that I have a choice. I can choose to be harried, angry, and frightened, or I can make a decision to take those traits off and put them down. It truly is that simple -- in nearly any situation. It's much easier to carry around patience, courage, and compatibility, and they don't seem to weigh an ounce! In fact, those attributes have the opposite effect -- they lift you up and make you feel lighter. What do you choose to carry with you today?
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