Life can be exhausting. Stress builds up. More responsibilities are added to your already sagging shoulders. Things do not go as planned. Something breaks. Someone gets sick. So many things seem to come at once and we are forced to shoulder it. Shoulder it, work through it and try not to collapse. Sometimes our load gets so heavy and without an end in sight, feels like it will crush us with each passing moment. Thinking to ourselves that at some point, enough has to be enough. Right? There has to be a stretch of time where everything magically goes right. A moment when everything fits into place and the world revolves without us having to do anything.
You have to put it down for a while or else it will crush you. Setting down your burdens, releasing your stress for a moment is not a sign of weakness. It is the epitome of true strength.
We all have to realize - we are human.
We cannot be expected to handle everything all of the time without some break. We have to learn and teach ourselves to set the load down once and a while. Allowing us time to turn our attention inward and focus on our needs. We have to hold our hand up and say stop. Stop the drama. Stop the stress. Stop going around in circles. Life is too short. If we don't look up once in a while - we will miss it. We will miss it while we are fixing everything and anything but ourselves.
Stop being a damn martyr.
I want you, right now, to do something. I want you to honestly examine all the stress, responsibilities and “life” you have currently piled on your shoulders. Really look at it. Take the blinders off and actually see it all clearly. Now, answer me this… How much of this is actually your burden? How much of it belongs to someone else who should be the one taking care of it?
The older I get the more I realize - I tend to pick up a lot that is not mine. Be it at home, work or when it comes to family and friends. I will see something that needs doing, handling or figuring out and not see anyone claiming it. So I do. I think because growing up everything was always my responsibility. Well, in hindsight it really wasn’t, but that is what I was conditioned to accept. Everyone else’s happiness was on me. If that meant taking care of things they should have been taking care of, then that is what I did. So much so, that I have incorporated it into my adult self. Instead of leaving things that were never mine to begin with, or doing things that someone else should be doing – I take care of it. I add it to the growing pile on my shoulders, even when I am almost to my knees by the sheer weight of the burden.
The first lesson – The world will not end if I take a mental health day. A day where the only thing I focus on is, me. Ok, maybe not a whole day but at least part of a day. The second lesson – Breaking down the burden into manageable bits helps tremendously. I can multi task with the best of them but in doing so, overwhelm myself more often than not. So, I tackle the bigger things one at a time. If it is something I can take care of and be done with it, I do. If it is something that requires more attention, I give it the attention is requires and then be done with it. The third lesson – Holding others accountable for things they should be dealing with. You can’t expect someone to face something, deal with something or accept responsibility for something if you are always taking care of it for them. Allow them to be responsible. And understand that it is their choice to do it or not. Not yours. Let it go. The fourth lesson – Finish each day and be done with it. Set it down and know that you did your best for the day. Give yourself a break. Release it for the night. Light a candle and pretend that all of your burdens live in the flame. Say your peace for what happened today – then blow the candle out. You can rekindle your flame and pick it all back up tomorrow. But for the night time moment – let it go.
I wish for you strength to continue on and the knowledge that while it is hard now, over time you will lose that weight on your shoulders and be free. Just remember, you are strong enough, smart enough, and tough enough. And know that setting that load down for a while, to catch your breath, is not weakness. It is a sign that you value yourself enough to rest for a while. It is a sign of true strength. The world will not shift off its axis, the sky will not come falling down - I promise. It will all be there to pick back up when you are ready, but, only when you are ready. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Pieces will eventually fall into place and your hard work; your perseverance will pay off. You will be free and you will be ready to take on the world.
Deep Breath, you got this.