Learning to Let it Go… of the heavy buckets…!

Picture this…

Two large buckets…

Each bucket resting on the floor on each side of you…

The bucket on your right is filled with issues and concerns outside of your control. This consists of but not limited to worries of things yet to have happened, the opinions and perceptions of others and things that have long ago happened. They are all sorts of worries that you cannot change, nor predict – big and small.

The bucket on your left is filled with the problems and concerns of everyone else. The content of this bucket consists of but is not limited to the problems and issues of loved ones, friends, acquaintances, or merely the news of terrible things occurring in the world. This will be a particularly filled and heavy bucket when you are the strength and support of your loved ones.

Now imagine using a rod to lift these two buckets as they balance on the ends and placing this construction on your shoulders – essentially picture workers in rice fields or Asian market places.

Now that clearly sounds like an illogical thing to do. Why would you carry these heavy buckets upon your shoulders? The weight in the buckets would cause your shoulders to slouch heavily. Or perhaps you think it is your burden to carry the load? Your shoulders are strong! You have always been carrying these buckets – it’s what you do – especially for your family! Or perhaps the weight isn’t that great… and you think by sharing the weight in your bucket with your loved one, you are making their buckets lighter… but are you?

Let’s first assess the bucket on your right. The issues you have no power over. Ask yourself why you continue to carry them.

Things in your past – whether they be mistakes, decisions or events that just happened. Life happens – often in the blink of an eye. Decisions you made were often based on knowledge you had up until that point and in reality – everything looks different with that annoying concept of ‘hindsight’. Sure you may not have made the same decision today but hey – does that really matter? Embrace your personal history – own every aspect of it because as you sit here in this moment, you are here because of the decisions made and life isn’t perfect – it isn’t meant to be…

Life isn’t about destiny and following a chosen path laid out for you…or is it? That is a matter for you to decide but I believe that it’s not the mistakes that count but how you got up, shook the dirt off your pants and kept on going that count the most.

For the worries of the life events that have yet to happen – this speaks for itself…worry when you need to – ie. When it happens…if at all!   Until that point, it is wasted energy to carry around concerns that will roll around in your head to the point of making you crazy – dizzy or both!

Empty out your right bucket. De-clutter the entire thing until there is only the necessary items left – and then it should be enough to carry in your pocket.

Now your left bucket… everyone else’s worries and concerns. Let me firstly be very clear about this… I am not for a moment suggesting that you drop your concerns or start looking at what others are facing as though their issues are ‘trivial’ or not your business or concern and are just stepping out. The concept of human connectedness is all about assisting one another and this usually occurs in the form of providing levels of support they need. Emptying this bucket is about categorization – re-assessing your role in the issues that are being faced.

Look at the contents of this bucket – your friend isn’t coping through a relationship breakdown or a particular life crisis, whether it be work, study or feeling stagnant in life generally? You may have a friend suffering through a mental illness or physical illness or the illness of their loved ones. The list of life issues is endless! Whatever the circumstances are that your loved ones are carrying, and you in turn are also carrying for them – let it go. Really look at what it is you are carrying for them. Are you carrying their hurt and pain too? [Pause] – Think about what the purpose of this is…It really isn’t easy to separate feeling the devastation and pain another is going through – it makes us human to feel and sympathize with the suffering – but at what cost to you? And think about the support you are able to provide that person if you are also swimming (or drowning) heavily in the grief…

These buckets are loaded with substantial amounts of unnecessary weight that can be alleviated by merely assessing your role in the circumstance. Does your friend need your support – absolutely! But think about how that is best carried out for both of your interests. If you are always the provider of the support, at some point this becomes tiring and exhausting for you – no doubt the weight upon your shoulders may cause you to be drained of all that makes you shine brightly like a beacon on a dark night…and your ability to assist diminishes as you are desperately scrambling to salvage the strength to continue to carry these heavy buckets. Know your role – and often it’s to listen or to distract or to chat about the concerns – but it’s often not about you as the friend swooping in to fix the issue for them…

 

So the broader question becomes – why do we do it? We may not physically be carrying these buckets but mentally we are more likely pulling along a semi trailer worth of problems behind us – and often unnecessary ones at that! The heavier the load, the more likely our days are darker, longer and full of emotional exhaustion ~ we may not even recognize why. It may also result in us not being able to give the full attention to current issues because there just isn’t much left to give – and we all know that life keeps going – new issues, problems and concerns keep arising and the new stuff needs to be addressed…

 

We as people appear to have great difficulty in letting go.

Whether that be letting go of past hurts, letting go of control over situations whether we actually have the power to impact or not, letting go of so many things. All the things we continue to hold onto, we are placing into our imaginary buckets that are causing our shoulders to risk buckling under the sheer weight. It is almost as though there is the expectation that carrying great burdens means we care more or are more human – sensitive and nurturing – or perhaps we need to get better at filing away these things to enable us to focus on the issues of today and the now that really require our full attention…

And sometimes the past hurts are just ready to be put away…

 

~ FP

 

 

 

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