Thursday, December 9, 2010

The burdens we don’t own but still carry

Last night someone read me the Buddhist story about two monks crossing a river. One, the older one, carries a nasty woman across to save her dress. Hours later, the younger one asks why the other monk did so when she was so mean and unappreciative. The answer? “I put her down hours ago why are you still carrying her?”

This week I let down a burden that I’d been trying to shoulder but didn’t belong to me. You can’t carry other people’s burdens. Most often, they are far from appreciative when you try (even if you can miraculously help). Sometimes I need to stand back and let someone else jump off a cliff (they may have a parachute).

A finally self admitted control freak (sort of) I don’t like to admit that I can’t do or fix something. And I’m learning (slowly) to let go of that concept. The truth is that every one of us has limitations.

So this week I’ve let go of a burden that wasn’t my own. I feel so much lighter; my body had been tightening up and I wasn’t sleeping. Both symptoms (of stress) lifted as I yielded to failure (on this issue). I’m so much happier!

I keep trying to be a better person. Once and a while I succeed. On this one I’m proud. I could exlore the issue further but think I've done enough introspection for today (I only handle it in bits and pieces).

And, the pie? I made it!

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