You’re frazzled. You’re scared. You’re burnt out. You can’t do it. You feel like you are trying to run a marathon through waist-deep water after eating a buffet of McDonald’s.
You’re lonely. You’re angry. You’re ashamed. You are carrying the weight of your world on your shoulders.
What you don’t know is that the load could disintegrate entirely if only you would let someone know it is there.
Don’t be like me and try to pretend. Masks only morph you into an indistinguishable superhero. Or clown.
Own your load. Name it. Then give it away.
We aren’t meant to live alone. Not that many people truly live visibly solitary existences. But if you are hording your bad and only sharing your good, you are living solitary… even if you are an extrovert surrounded by people, even if your social squares appear to be perfect.
It is tempting to wade through the bad, get it figured out by yourself, and then once you are an overcomer, share this horrid story of what you’ve been through. Packaged with a nice little bow and a great punch line.
But if you are choosing to not share your load, while in the middle of the load, you are choosing to go it alone. Choosing to be removed from the power of other people speaking truth into your life, or being there to carry some of your boxes, or give you that little extra umph to get going again.
We are wired for connection, and if you are not connected with people through your bad, even just one other person, it is suffocating.
The thoughts go round and round. And with nobody to bounce them off of or speak some truth into your bad, it becomes a restless evil. Every time the thought goes around it becomes bigger. Your problems enlarge. You enlarge. And then pretty soon every experience becomes filtered by this big bad problem. Everything you say and think is a direct result of it. All of a sudden, you become the locus of the actual world.
The frazzle, the fear, the tired, the alone, the anger, the shame you feel becomes so immense, so cumbersome, that you want to slink away from people. You don’t want them to see the load you own. It’s incongruent with the good you are only known for sharing.
But choosing to not share your bad while in the middle of the bad can be isolating. The exact opposite of community. The exact opposite of power. The exact opposite of overcoming.
But I challenge you. The thing that is so big to you, the thing that is the cause of your biggest worry or shame, pick a person you already have trust with and blurt it out. Share that you’re having a hard time. Share that you’re scared. Share that you are unsure about a very wobbly future. Share that you need some help.
Admit you have a load. Allow yourself to name it. And force yourself to share it.
I just started letting myself do this. Sometimes. I didn’t before because I saw having a big, bulky load in my corner as weakness. But I learned that by ignoring my load I was also missing out on all the people who were also in my corner. I didn’t see that in sharing, this thing that had grown formidable to me would become as small as a pebble to step over. If I had the courage to do so. I didn’t know that sharing what I saw as weakness invited strength. Invited comfort. Invited hope. Invited the collective ability to conquer.
The darkness shrinks when called by name. It disappears entirely when it sees you are surrounded by love.
The person you choose to share with has their own choice. They could laugh at your load, encourage your self-pity, or walk away because they are scared of your load. That kind of person is not who you need.
Be brave and choose another one.
Your vulnerability invites strength.
All of a sudden, your people know when you need a meal brought to you, when you need to be prayed for, when you need to be encouraged, when you need to be seen, when you need them to step in to get you through another day, when you need an end of personal space.
Your humility invites help. Your honesty invites victory.
Own your load. Name it. And then give it away.
You might find a net of friendships to catch you when you find yourself to be a fish out of water.
You might find a whole town full of farmers on your doorstep to help, even in the middle of harvest.
You might find friends who will help push you up the hill.
It is tiring being the locus of your world. It is not meant to be.
Let someone know your load is there. And then be beautifully astounded as they stand up with you in your corner to help you, hold you, and disintegrate your darkness with love.