All week I have felt heavy and tired and sad. All week I have felt the need to cry and have done so. But as I sit today and listen to my Guardian Angel it comes to me that what I have been carrying this week is not my own sadness, but that of those I love the most. IT. HAS. BEEN. A. WEEK. in my house and even though this week has happened to everyone else, somehow I ended up feeling it the most.
I ask my Angels how do I release this? How do I take the burdens of those I love off my own shoulders and know it is their experience and not mine? Their week, not mine?
I close my eyes and listen and am told to shed the tears, give the support, but then let go. Take a deep breath. Let it all out. Ask myself what am I truly feeling and is it my pain to feel?
I am told that I know I can be there for my family always, hold them, hug them, love them….but I also have to be there for me. After I hug them and support them, after they leave for work and for school then I have to let go. I have to let their pain go and figure out what my own emotions are. Outside of feeling for them, outside of wallowing in what is going on with them, how am I? What is going on with ME?
If I truly look back at this week not one bad thing happened to me directly. Of course it is bad when people I love hurt, but not one hurt, stress, anger was mine. Every single negative or upsetting emotion I felt this week was because someone else experienced something:
I was in the treatment room a few nights ago when my oldest daughter was getting acupuncture for an injury (I believe very strongly in the belief of acupuncturists that pain is related to emotion) and WHOA. Wow, was I was overwhelmed as the needles started going in to her. My eyes filled with tears. My stomach tightened. I truly felt her pain emotionally and physically as I sat there.
I got off the phone with my husband the other night who has had a very stressful busy week. He had to prepare for and give a huge presentation as well as travel for four days. When I hung up with him that night all of a sudden I felt stressed and busy and angry too. I truly felt his emotions.
My youngest is in an elementary school that very sadly has decided to take the fun out of elementary. The kids have to have silent lunches at age ten because the staff thinks the kids are too loud. (5th graders are not supposed to be quiet!) My daughter dreads going to school every single day and I want to curl up with her in bed every morning when I wake her up and she asks yet again if she can please stay home.
My thirteen-year-old is in the middle of middle school. She’s had four tests this week so far and two more today. Her stomach has been in knots, so has mine. On top of this she has an awful head cold and an earache. She has been waking up early to study and is absolutely exhausted. Guess who is exhausted too? Guess who else is fighting a cold?
It is not my imagination. I truly am taking on other’s emotions.
Humans are intuitive and loving and I believe that quite often we take on the pain of those we love because we want to be there for them. We want to help them. And we should, but I am learning that helping them doesn’t mean holding their emotions inside of me. I cannot hold onto their pain and suffer because of it. I cannot let their pain affect my life. And their pain isn’t magically healed just because I share in it. As much as I hold and hug and love ultimately they have to work through their own issues. They have to get through their own experiences.
I don’t mean this to sound selfish. I just feel that everyone is here to learn their own lessons. To have their own experiences. And while I can empathize and support and care about what others are going through, I cannot let their experiences become mine. I have to cut cords and learn to love but also to let go. It is a delicate balance and it is hard for me.
I almost came home this morning after getting everyone where they needed to be and crawled into bed. Truly, I almost did. I almost blew off my entire day and retreated. Thankfully, however, as I was walking down the hall my eye caught my favorite Angel statue in my office and I went in, lit some candles and sat down to listen.
“Everyone else’s burdens are not your own.”
That was my message. I heard it loud and clear. Those words were my inspiration for writing today because this week everyone else’s burdens did become my own. And because I let that happen, I had a very rough week.
Now of course when you love people you share in their burdens. You support them, hold them, love them. But what my Angels reminded me of this morning is that this doesn’t mean I have to be miserable myself. Instead of giving in to having a bad week I should have taken deep breaths, said supporting words, given hugs and love and then after everyone went off on their way said,
“What am I going to focus on today?”
Not their misery. Not their pain. Not their stress. Because that is theirs. What am I going to focus on for me?
I am happy. I am grateful. I am blessed. That is what I want to focus on today. That is how I am feeling. So for now, I am going to not think about my injured oldest daughter, my stressed husband, my exhausted second daughter and my sad 5th grader. Instead I am going to say a little prayer to their Angels to please help them through their days today, and then I am going to sit back, sip my tea, write for a while and then go outside and start my day with a smile.
And if anyone comes home later sad, mad, stressed or angry I will hold them, hug them, love them but also not forget to release their burdens and love myself.
Thank you Angels.
Blessings and wishes for a beautiful weekend,