Think about all the things that weigh us down in life, like anger, jealousy, resentment, grief, fear and insecurities which at times, we don’t even know we are carrying. It’s not until we let go of these burden’s that we realise how heavy they were in our life.
All the burdens we carry do not just affect us, but everyone around us. Everything we hold onto or let go of, has a ripple effect.
Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the sides of the road. At one place, a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to her, lifted her over the puddle and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the Monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, is it true, we cannot touch a woman ?”
The elder monk answered “yes, brother this is true”.
Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, why did you lift that woman on the roadside ?”
The elder monk smiled at him and said, “Well, I left her on the other side of the road, but you brother, you are still carrying her.”
This parable made me smile and shows us how easily we allow ourselves to keep carrying an old story or an injustice or a wound from the past. Carrying the burdens of others creates heaviness in us as well and so it’s important we become aware of why we do that.
Often I convince myself I have let go of an old resentment or wound, only to realise it is triggered again through a comment or a reaction. Letting go of these burdens is not always easy and yet, through forgiveness, stillness and allowing yourself to move through your pain, you will find you become lighter and are more likely to let go and move on.
In all cases, we only carry the burdens we wish to carry. So we need to take responsibility to seek support when we need it or become more self-reliant and find our own solutions. Either way, when we let go, we become more spacious and this always allows more room to give and receive freely.
How have you learnt to let go of your burdens in life?