Atlas wasn't forced to hold up the world. He was convinced that if he didn't, the world would fall.
Often the one child in a family who is softer than the rest, who is more sensitive than the family is used to, is the one selected to deal with what no one else will deal with. It's an odd fate. This is usually the person who needs to shoulder the family sadness with the brunt of their heart.
Somewhere along the way, this person must learn that there is a huge difference between sharing someone's pain, and bearing it. Too many times, those in pain use the concern of loved ones as a way to ground what they don't want to feel themselves. People like this....people like me, and maybe you identify, so let me say people like us, frequently feel responsible for the emotional condition of others.
It is delicate and never-ending work, this sorting of what is truly ours and what is not. We become codependent, never feeling at peace until the emotions of everyone around us are managed and tended--not so much out of compassion, bust as the only way to quiet our anxious burden as carriers of sadness.
Though some of us were trained to carry the sadness and pain of others, the fiber of the one heart we were givin is strong and light enough by itself to carry us. Let down, let go, the world will carry you.
Adapted from "The Book of Awakening"
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