Have you ever felt for someone? Like truly felt bad about what they were experiencing and wished that you could help? Who was this person? A close friend? A family member? A stranger on tv? Remember that feeling. Capture it in your mind.
Now imagine that you feel this way about every single person that you encounter. Imagine that you feel the person’s problems before they even speak them. And sometimes, you feel their problems before they even know them, themselves. Now imagine that this is not a one day oddity, instead it is your every day life. This is the life of a highly attuned burden bearer. And I am one of those people. And I have come to the realization of how many burdens I carry around that are not mine to own- but they are mine to help lessen and let go.
Last summer, I sat down with a friend and explained how I could just feel that things around me were off. During that conversation we talked about the fact that I was an empath. (Which kinda had a ‘duh’ feeling around it.) We also talked about the fact that this meant I was picking up tons of things that were around me- because I just do.
Over the last 9 months or so- I have made a concerted effort to get my empath stuff straight. However, to get my empath stuff straight- I have to really get my burden bearing stuff straight. Which has lead me to actively working on lightening the load that I carry that are not my own burdens. While I am happy and awed that God thinks I can help others with their burdens- I also realized I have been claiming those burdens as my own far too long.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany- in the car of all places- about a particular burden that had been on my heart recently. And in that moment I 100% knew- this is not mine to bear. My role may be to pray about it and confront the situation- but the outcome of the situation is 0% my burden. And just like that- I had my first ‘click’ moment on lightening the load I carry. Just because I know something is a burden- does not mean that that burden is mine. I may play a part in praying for healing, discussing the issue, or even comforting someone- but the burden I feel ACTUALLY belongs to them, not me.
So I’m writing this today to give hope to anyone else who may be a slightly (okay- majorly) over burdened, burden bearer. We can realize what is ours and what is not ours. We can still empathize and care for those around us. We can still beat burdens, but we can also be so much healthier about it when we do it. I hope you’ll chose to be healthier. I hope you’ll chose to work on you and understand that your health means that you can take care of others. As one of the old sayings goes- you can’t take care of anyone, if you aren’t taking care of yourself.