Not long ago, I remember feeling like the person in this photo. On the outside, everything looked normal (hey, maybe even fashionable). But inside, I felt the weight of the world upon my shoulders.
In the midst of feeling overwhelmed, my inner stoic surfaced and I carried on. Like many people do. Day after day. Thump-thump-thump.
How a poem helped me
Then, one afternoon I came across this quote by poet Najwa Zebian: “These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”
I paused … and then read the quote a few times until the guidance took root. To be honest, I never thought about life’s challenges as “mountains” resting upon my shoulders. Yet, there they were.
Then, I asked myself: “Why am I lugging mountains around, when I could learn to climb them?” My inner voice replied, “It’s a choice”.
So, with the seeds of this new perspective tucked in my pocket, I gradually started to move away from an energy draining “carrying” mountains stance to an energy building “climbing” mountains mindset. It felt good to begin building my climbing muscle rather than buckling under an unyielding weight of a mountain.
Five questions to ask yourself
As a Healing Conversationalist, I naturally gravitate toward asking meaningful questions. So to help me on my climbing journey, I came up with five questions:
- What load am I carrying upon my shoulders today?
- If I close my eyes and visualize myself climbing the mountain instead of carrying it, how does that image make me feel?
- What body part(s) react?
- How does carrying this mountain serve me? (Deeper question)
- What “climbing” steps do I need to put in place to unload this mountain? (Example: clarifying, observing, making a list, asking for help, pausing, taking a break, etc.).
Making good choices
Carrying a mountain on your shoulders is overwhelming, but it is also a choice. Fatigue sets in quickly; especially if it is not your burden to carry; or not yours to carry alone. In addition, choosing to carry a heavy load robs you of your precious life force energy and distracts you from other life-enhancing activities. As the wise adage says, “We all have 24 hours in the day; so it is up to us how we use them”.
Let the climbing begin!
Photo credit: Upslash
Mildred Lynn McDonald is a Healing Conversationalist; or a person who is good at or fond of engaging in conversation about becoming sound, whole, and healthy again. She is the host/producer of four soulful, personal development podcasts.
Opportunities to connect on LinkedIn are welcome and appreciated!