Today I spoke with my oldest son about life and the backpack that we carry with us each day:
What in our backpack feels heavy and what feels light? How do we lighten our daily load? Why should some things be allowed to be carried around with us every day and why should we acknowledge and then let go of others?
He was feeling a lot of tension in his neck and shoulders, I wondered what was weighing on him and started chatting. As a 6 year old, I thought he got the concept of heavy and light pretty well: “Does school feel heavy or light in your backpack?” “Challenging work at school sometime feels heavy and when I have to wait till the afternoon to make comic books.” “Does Dada feel heavy or light in your back pack?” “Light” “Does Pax (little brother) feel heavy or light in your backpack?” “Sometimes light and sometimes heavy” “When he is being crazy and I have to play with him it feels heavy, or if he is being fun, he feels light”
He is learning to understand the concept of emotional burdens and stress. He’s starting to understand how he carries these energies with him and how he can let go of what doesn’t need carried. Things that aren’t his to carry.
We, as adults, carry many things in our backpacks: stress of work, family, money, friends, etc. Some of the things we are carrying are in fact ours and worth their weight, others are only weighing us down. Sometimes we even carry things that do not belong to us, carrying these energies, thoughts and emotions do not lessen the burden to those they acually belong. We just think that we are helping.
For example: A woman has wonderful grown children who have families of their own. At night she cannot sleep because she's thinking of all of her things that she needs to do and all of the things that her children have going on and all the things that are happening with her grandchildren. She is not lessoning the load for her family, she is only weighing herself down with what she is carrying. The best solution for her is to acknowledge the situations surrounding her life. Give the situations love and actual involvement if needed and then allow herself to step back. Knowing that these aren’t hers to worry about. Thinking about these things won’t change them. They just give heaviness and tension.
Another example: A woman is watching her best friend go through a divorce. She feels the hurt of her friend deeply and is often caught up in the dramatics happening. She is not helping by taking on the emotional burden of her friend. Her friends still has to endure it all. She can stand by her friend, acknowledge the difficulties, help where she can and offer sympathy. But when she allows her energy to be swept away and to feel the heaviness of her friend's situation, the burden is not less for the friend it just adds heaviness for herself.
I’ve found that when involved with difficult situations I tend to feel DEEPLY. I take on the role of the people involved. I want to make their heaviness lighter and end up feeling what they feel. I now know this makes me feel heavy and the person involved actually doesn’t feel any lighter. Allow others to release their heaviness by hearing them and acknowledging where they are and then allow yourself to step aside. That energy isn’t ours and we don’t have to own it and you don't have to carry it.
I’m trying to teach my son about discernment. We have 2 rules in our house: be safe and be kind. So, when life happens and we get caught up in chaos we ask a lot of questions. How did that make you feel? What is the plan? How do you think they felt when that happened? What is something we can do? And then also teaching him to step back and say: those emotions are theirs, this is not me, I am not responsible for their actions or feelings; I am responsible for myself and how I act and react. He gets it. It’s tough work and he gets it. My husband and I are responsible for guiding him on his journey.
Back to our life backpacks. How much is in yours? How much belongs to someone else? How much is yours but is no longer serving you and where you want to be? Allow the things that aren’t yours and the things that are no longer serving your highest good to slip away. Take a deep breath and tell them to go as they aren’t allowing you to move forward. I have found that stating "I release anything that is not mine; I release anything that no longer serves me" is a quick an efficient way to let things go. You've got this, you will feel much lighter when you're only responsible for your energy.
Cheers to Wellness, Friends!