A while ago TAL Family member Josie reached out for help and I want to share my response with you today.
Essentially, she described how it’s hard to not have “bad” days.
She’s married with 3 teenagers, living paycheck to paycheck, supporting a mother with addiction and abuse challenges, and just really struggling to stay afloat and fend off depressing thoughts.
She said this:
My challenge is trying to stay positive, to keep a float. I find myself becoming depressed because I try to do good and it seems to back fire…
How can I push myself to keep working out, push my kids to become responsible adults, keep my husband happy, help my mother without feeling like I am going to break down?
Well…that is heavy.
I feel the weight and the burden you are carrying.
I know how hard it is to stay afloat with all that weight.
You’re like Atlas…trying to carry the weight of the world.
I understand well the challenge, the pain, and the anxiety caused by that situation.
My circumstances are different, but I’ve felt the same thing a lot.
Here’s what has worked for me and brought me peace in similar times:
Surrender. Give up the fight. Let go.
That is the simple answer.
OK, so what do I mean?
Yeah…I know…sounds like quitting, maybe it goes against everything you think you should do right…like fight harder, push harder, DO more somehow!?
“But I can’t just stop fighting” I hear your mind saying.
Well, I get that too.
But you can’t win this battle…It’s too big for you.
Here’s the reality…you are attempting to carry the weight of the world and that’s not your job.
Let the world hold itself up on its own. Let go.
Let’s rewind the tape…you said you want to:
“keep working out”
“push my kids to become responsible adults”
“keep my husband happy”
“help my mother without feeling like I am going to break down”
Notice a trend in those feelings and beliefs?
3 out of 4 of them are other people’s problems.
Are other people’s problems your responsibility?
I know this may sound ‘unloving’, but it’s not, keep reading.
You are responsible for you.
We didn’t come to earth equipped to solve everyone else’s problems.
Heck, we can barely solve our own problems!
And even then only when we really learn to trust and ‘turn them over to the manager’ of the universe. (God)
You can’t push your kids to become responsible adults.
You can’t make your husband happy.
You can’t solve all your mother’s problems.
Only they can do those things.
Attempting those things is a losing battle that is doomed from the beginning.
You can support them, and love them, but you can’t fix them.
For me when I realize I’m in ‘atlas’ mode trying to solve everyone’s problems…
I remind myself to give up the fight…just let it go.
Focus on the one thing I can actually do something about: getting myself in tune with the energy of love, compassion, and joy.
Then when I get to that place I’m at peace and everything feels ok…
then the positive energy radiates out and somehow others are drawn and lifted up.
You’re trying to push people up a steep hill to the ‘JOY’ up at the top.
It’s never going to work.
You need to get to the top of the hill and anchor into the tree up there (love, joy, personal peace).
From that high ground, sure, toss down a rope so they can climb up.
Sure you can be of help to others…but not pushing them from behind…you’ll all just struggle and stumble that way…1 step forward, 2 steps back.
You need to get to solid high ground first yourself before you can help anyone else.
And even when you get there…their life is still their responsibility…not yours.
It’s not loving others to attempt to take responsibility for their life.
It’s loving them to believe in them, and honor their ability to tap into the well-spring of infinite intelligence that is within them.
Just like we need to do for ourselves.
We all have access to a deep well of love and a connection to the infinite.
So for me, when I’m drowning with the weight of self-imposed burdens, if I tap into that I can let go of my baggage and life becomes a lot easier.
So to recap on your main question…how do you ‘keep pushing yourself and everyone else without feeling like you’re going to break down’?
You don’t. You will break down if you keep trying that.
“Let go, and let God.”
Take care of yourself…love yourself, and that love will radiate out and bless everyone around you.
There’s a ton more to say on this topic I’m sure…but I’ll leave you with that for now.
I hope this has helped you start seeing your situation a bit differently.
Make today amazing!
P.S. – How about the rest of you? There are tons of strategies for letting go, taking care of yourself, and trusting your inner strength…
What are your go-to ways to tackle this challenge? I’m opening the floor to you now for discussion.
Share your comments below.
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(* Photo credit: Jasongregory.org)