Sunday, June 19, 2011

Setting down our burdens

On the first Wednesday of each month, I facilitate a lovely group of women in having conversations about our emotional lives. We touch on all aspects of what's happening with us, but our focus is on how this makes us feel. Last time we met, I asked us to consider the burdens that we feel and if we could lay them down.

I have a fair number of things that I worry about (the environment, homeless animals, war, the health of friends) but as true burdens, there were three things on my list: my ongoing dissatisfaction with my weight and my food relationship, my unresolved unhappiness with my mother (deceased now 14 years), and my concerns that I won't have enough money for my care as I get really old. To resolve any and all of these would, I think, help me have considerably more peace of mind.

And this brings me again to the paradoxes that mature adults deal with: finding it in my heart to forgive my mother and doing the work (meditation, writing, maybe painting) that would make that possible while not ignoring my own right to be angry and hurt at what happened. Having the courage to sit with my restlessness and anxiety around giving up food as solace while accepting that I got myself here during decades of living in survival mode. And forgiving myself for earlier poor choices around income and spending and making changes now, even though it's pretty late in the game.

Carrying these as burdens, as the UnForgiven, is so unhelpful and yet has seemed so natural. And as I mentioned to my therapist, in some ways, these aren't things I can resolve in my mind. I can't necessarily make a concrete plan, develop my own 12 steps, take some concrete action. This is deep inner work that takes quiet and solitude and inactivity on the external plane to evolve and resolve.

And these are burdens I would like to lay down.

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