After losing a considerable amount of weight, I loaded up a backpack with the same amount of weight that I lost. Then put this on my back. I walked around for a while and felt the weight that I had lost. I did this to realize how much weight was gone and after removing the backpack, I realized how much lighter I felt.
Weight has always interested me. I know how much a pound weighs. I know how much ten pounds weigh and twenty and so on. I understand that my concept of weight differs because my strength and depth of feeling is unique to me. I don’t know what ten pounds feels like to anyone else. I only know what this feels like to me.
I know that holding something that is lightweight can eventually become heavy. I also understand the process of accumulation. I know that one thing can become two and two becomes four and therefore; before we know it, we find ourselves carrying way too much.
Someone once told me, “Never lift more than you can carry.” which makes sense because the fact that I might be able to lift something from the ground does not mean that I can carry this and take it with me.
I listened to a speaker share an exercise that I had seen before.
The speaker held up a glass of water and asked how much does the glass weigh. The people in attendance guessed six ounces, eight, ten, twelve and up to sixteen ounces.
The weight of the glass was nominal. However, the representation of the glass was taken into consideration when having to carry this for a long period of time.
Even weightless, if we extend our arms with nothing in them at all, eventually, our arms become tired and heavy. If we keep going, our shoulders begin to tire and if we hold them up longer, the pain can make us shake and the weight of nothingness can become insurmountable and unbearable. The only relief would be to put them down. Put down the glass of water. Put your arms down; otherwise, carry this and struggle with the pain and fatigue.
I say this because we understand deliberate weight in size and ounces. We understand the physical description of a glass of water because we can see this. But what about the weight we can’t see? What about the things we carry throughout the day? What about stress? What about anxiety? What about the weights of doubt or shame? Or, what about insecurity? What about regret? How much does rejection weigh? What about the weight of our fears of the unknown?
Are we valid? Are we noticed or recognized?
Put simple, the total sum of these questions is are we enough?
Take a second and consider the exercise of holding your arms up with nothing in them. There is no weight but the weight of our arms; yet, we can feel this. We can physically feel the concept of weight.
But wait , , ,
We’re not holding anything.
What else do we carry with us?
What else is there that weighs us down?
I don’t know what it feels like to break my arm. But I did break my collarbone once.
I broke my ankle too so I understand what that feels like.
Although I am grown, I have a terrible fear of needles. I hate shots. I hate when the doctor needs to take blood.
I know this does not hurt me the same as when I was a small boy. I understand the trauma and how this is an old memory, which has mutated and amplified over the years. I know the threat of needles exists more in my head but still, I am afraid.
I am a grown man. I am tattooed. I do not appear to be soft looking by any means. Ah, but sit me in the chair at a doctor’s office. Tell me there’s a needle coming and I promise you’ll laugh as you watch my face when the nurse comes in the room.
Consider the weight of catastrophizing. Think about the weight of irrational fears and the anticipation of the worst. The weight of this is insurmountable. In fact, the anxiousness of pain or discomfort can be worse than the actual pain itself.
I know what a paper cut feels like. I understand the pain from a sunburn or worse; I understand the feeling of burning my fingers on something hot. Therefore, I understand the weight of physical pain because this comes with a physical concept.
But what about heartache? What about the stress and anxiety that comes with depression? Or, what about the fears that pain is on its way? And all you can do is wait.
None of this comes with a specific gravity; therefore, the weight on our shoulders can appear to be unthinkable. Therefore, this is us, holding up the weight of nothingness which leads us to fatigue.
With life comes gravity.
Gravity is defined as heaviness or weight; and, it is also defined as something serious or critical in nature. Well then, I submit that the gravity and the culture of our lives has its own specific weight.
I submit that to each their own. To each is their own weight and their own need to either carry this weight or shed the load and allow themselves to rest.
One of my biggest personal breakthroughs came after a long discussion about a personal moment of humiliation. I swore I ruined myself. This comes from a time when I was handling an emotional challenge; and in response, I behaved emotionally. I lost sight of my goals and in true form, I painted myself into a corner. I subjected myself to a self-induced failure. I felt exposed and humiliated.
The topic itself and the mistakes I made are minimal in perspective. However, this took off in my head to a catastrophic level. The challenge was me. The difficulty was the weight of the ideas in my head, which became too heavy for me to even think about.
The weight of this came without a physical definition to understand. I couldn’t understand why this feeling was so intense.
Emotionally, I found myself in a tailspin that made no sense; therefore, I responded behaviorally. Thus, I self-destructed and created a self-fulfilled prophecy. And suddenly, the pain made sense. The sadness made sense because I emotionally created an outcome that resulted in a physical nature.
I was discussing the mistakes of my past with a friend. After listening, he asked me one simple question.
“How long are you going to carry this around with you?”
Then he asked, “Don’t you think it’s time that you put that down?”
Our energy is finite, which means that our energy has limits. Our energy is measurable. It’s not infinite, which means we only have so much. This means whatever energy we have, we have to use it wisely. Carrying the weight of our irrational concepts will do nothing else but drain us and keep us from reaching our potential.
There are three words that when put together can either free us or infuriate us, or better yet; they can do both at the same time.
The three words are: “LET IT GO”
I go back to the idea of physical weight loss and how I packed a backpack with the same amount of weight that I lost. I put the backpack on to remind me that I was 60lbs heavier. I walked around with this for a while. Then removed the backpack from my shoulders. I felt light again.
Imagine how light we would feel if we removed the weight of our emotions.
Imagine how our arms would feel if we just put them down.
I have great news.
Understanding our mental health is easier than we think.
We carry so much. We hold on tight and we keep the weight of things that don’t even exist.
We hold ourselves accountable to things that no longer belong to us.
The past is the past and better yet, the past is gone; yet, we still hold ourselves accountable for things that are no longer real. It’s just a memory.
We hold the weight of relationships that did not work out in our favor.
We carry old conversations that ended unfavorably.
We hold the weight of rejection. We hold the weights of resentment and biases that keep us leashed to old behaviors.
Imagine how much lighter we would feel if we were able to let this go and put this down, or like the backpack, imagine the relief if we were to simply take this off of our shoulders.
I offer this to the depressed. I offer this to the person who cannot seem to lift their head from the pillow because everything is just too goddamned heavy. I offer this to those who cling to the concepts of shame and the fears of rejection.
I offer those three words that can either free us or infuriate us: LET IT GO!
There is no honor in holding things that do not honor us.
Think forward. Not backwards.
I came to an idea last night, which I jotted down to remind myself when times are too intense or my sensitivity to rejection is distracting my focus.
My thought was this:
No one has the right to stop you from improving yourself.
Having said this, it is important to keep in mind that not everyone is going to be helpful either.
Not everyone is going to cheer or help you reach your goals but . . .
no one can ever stop you from pulling off your trick.
Just know this.
So, keep moving
And don’t quit.
This is something to remember.
I wrote this because realizations improve our levels of awareness. This boosts our levels of consciousness to ultimately achieve an enlightened sense of understanding. And what does that mean?
Well, to enlighten means to bring into light.
And what’s the opposite of heavy?
And me, I want to be light.
I carried too much for too long.
Besides, I came to the realization that says “It’s time to put my arms down.”
I’m ready to let go.
How about you?