When I heard this statement, this mantra, while doing pigeon pose during a beautiful yoga practice with Chelsey Korus, I teared up and then really, truly relaxed. For me, pigeon pose is tricky because my hips do NOT want to open (thank you, Catholic upbringing?), but if I can just let go, it feels so good. The harder I try, the more it hurts. Which is ironic, because I’m trying to not let it hurt. Hmm.
Metaphor for life.
I’m not knocking self preservation, because it’s an important part of self care. However, there are certain instances in life where, as in yoga, the fight only causes discomfort, and surrender is a sweet, necessary step to moving forward.
We go through the day so clenched, so on guard, that we literally disrupt the natural way our bodies are supposed to work. We develop chronic back and neck pain, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure. And why wouldn’t we? At any given moment we might be rear ended, receive a stressful phone call, or, God forbid, turn on the news! We are braced for impact at all times, and, at the end of the day, it’s only causing more pain. Certainly not doing anything to spread love in a world that needs it badly.
It was never mine to carry.
I have to remind myself of this when I find that I’m carrying pain that doesn’t belong to me. After a national disaster, a loss of life, even just a really sad story- I can easily go down the rabbit hole of grief. And not the appropriate grief that we feel when we learn of others’ suffering, because that’s part of life- as Glennon Doyle says, “We belong to each other.”
I’m talking about the soul crushing grief that can take you out of commission; be no good to anyone. The feeling that there is so much sadness in the world that it’s not worth doing anything at all, ever, because it’s simply too much to bear.
That’s not mine to carry. It’s too heavy, and if I don’t put it down, it’ll take me down.
Unclench. Look the fear of the unknown straight in the eye. And that “maybe things will fall apart” feeling? That’s not yours to carry. Put it down, it’s only keeping you from the good stuff.
Hold each other up, because we belong to each other, but don’t try to hold up the world all by yourself.
Surrender to the un-knowing. Surrender to believing things will be ok if we take them on together. Surrender by taking a deep breath in, and then LETTING IT OUT.
Not everything is yours to carry. So put it down.