Where would my mind go first after reading that title? Probably the same that most people reading went, but fortunately we’re not talking about weight loss, not physical weight at least. I recently offered to have a conversation with a friend who was hurting, I figured a listening ear could help and perhaps I’d be able to offer advice. Not too far into the conversation, I found it difficult to listen, it was as if I was trying to hear him over some more overwhelming voices that were playing in my head. There was a point where I was overrun with stress and panic with issues from my own life I had to deal with. After trying to end with a quick pick me up and brotherly shoulder punch I left and just felt off, and to make it worse I felt like I wasted his time.
A lot of us may be feeling significant weight in our lives, again, not physically. Perhaps it’s emotional, mental, or spiritual weight in your life. I found that the emotional and mental weight that I was carrying was being added by every conversation, because I have a really bad habit in the relationships around me: Rather than trying to help other people shed their weight, I try to take it on for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sound like a martyr or self righteous, but I know I’m not the only one who does this. How many of you reading take on the weight of people around you and end up being overwhelmed by the weight you feel?
Well, it’s time to shed the weight. I want this post to be the first step for you in shedding that weight, you have to begin by giving yourself permission. It’s OKAY to not carry other’s weight, it’s OKAY to acknowledge your own shit first, it’s OKAY to say no to those outside so you can care for yourself. The truth is, we will never be able to really care for others until we can learn to care for ourselves. I work with a lot of people whose role under me is to care for others. My number one rule is that these individuals are not allowed to step into care for others if they haven’t dealt with what’s going on in their life first. Yes, you caught me, I break that rule often, and every time it’s the new worst decision I make.
So, what are you carrying today and what can you shed? What’s that extra emotional weight you need to shed? We may need to say no to taking on other people’s issues, but shedding our weight will then empower us to effectively help others. If we don’t see ourselves as valuable enough to shed the weight, on what grounds do we have to stand for telling others their value? You have what it takes, and you deserve this.