Lay Down Your Burdens

Businessman with the World on his ShouldersIda Lawrence, Contributor
Waking Times

When we take note of the ‘feel’ something or someone has, we’re not talking about physical touch or emotion, we’re talking about inner feeling. Essence, state of being, resonance, energy, vibration… these are workable words for it too.

A consistent, long-term inner feeling might show up in the body or facial expression, it’ll be evident in those people and situations we draw toward ourselves, it will be complimented in a soul mate, it will be anchored anew with every significant change we make, and it is changeable moment to moment as well.

The relationship between a person’s ‘feel’ and their thoughts and emotions is quite intimate. We know that keeping our emotions in check and our thoughts positive is a means of raising our energy. Of course we want to raise our energy, and live naturally in a lighter or more refined state of being.

And yet going into a more dense emotional state, proceeding on through whatever comes up, and considering what we might call heaviness or darkness part of the complete human that we are, seems to me a positive choice.

  • Having recently taken such a dive, I’d say… our negative emotions aren’t wrong or weak. It’s okay to forget the ‘be positive’ spiritual practices for a time and allow that part of ourselves to be expressed, not to everyone in the room, but in thought. Offer yourself kindness, and more importantly, trust. We do come back out, we bring the shadow into the light, and if we’re fortunate, we see patterns and the origins of those patterns. It can be very healing.

    The dive: I had taken up the task of sorting through some old papers and throwing things out. As I looked at them, I was reminded of the long, painful illness of a loved one. After about an hour of sorting, I took note of my thoughts… very sad and bitter, even angry, depressed, questioning the purpose of life. As the day went on, I began to consider that I might actually leave this physical existence without understanding why we are even born!

    I heard myself rumbling, voicing the hurt of all the confusing, disappointing, damaging, deadening stuff, pointing out my ‘god-awful’ failures and the failures of my beliefs, vacillating between ‘victim’ emotions and ‘guilty’ emotions, until I finally came to a question: “What part of you is demanding to make sense of all of this? Can you agree to not understand?”

    I’ve been getting very friendly with my inner child lately, and she definitely can kick up a storm. She has reason to, so I promised that I would honor her. That inner child is a very important character. Some say the child is the shadow; some say the child is the voice of the heart. Could be both. I know she’s the one who absorbed the powerful emotional pattern that I took a dive into: the guilty victim.

    The symbiotic relationship between guilty and victim is certainly worth a good look. Can you be both at the same time? Of course. Seems like our entire world is both at the same time, so much so that we probably got our first dose of that state in the womb.

    For example: A man experiences himself as victim of a woman’s manipulation. Deep inside he berates himself for being weak, and he makes up for that by subjugating women to his will. A woman experiences herself as a victim of the man’s abandonment and she just ‘knows’ she is inadequate. That pain translates into hostility and disdain for the masculine. Here’s a good one: spiritual seeker, victim of cultural conditioning, guilty of not living up to self-assigned spiritual practices, vacillates between anger, self-judgment and a bottle of vodka.

    Guilty victim – it’s the crown of thorns. Or, considering the ‘feel’ of it, we might want to call up the image of the heart wrapped in thorns.

    We’ve tried to deal with the emotional pain of being human, birth and death, suffering, and the complexity of human relationships in many different ways: being kind, loving ourselves and others, being respectful, raising our vibration, allowing and not controlling, helping people in need, and so much more. But it’s a warrior’s journey, that’s for sure, as there is a lot of opposition to spiritual evolution.

    This morning I opened up an article, titled something like ‘10 things about karma’. One of the ten was, “If there’s something wrong with your life there’s something wrong with you.” I felt like telling the writer to go kick rocks. With spiritual lessons like this who needs opposition – we’ll just beat ourselves up.

    There are malicious human beings who will do every kind of harm they wish to do, with intent. That’s what wrong is. But chances are they’re not reading the article on karma.

    Sure, I get the message about believing there’s something wrong with your life, but there can be more empowering ways to deliver it. From the expanded point of view, in the light of consciousness that is our higher self, we can say… I take responsibility for everything in my personal life, as I am the creator, participant, and observer. And, from the same expanded point of view we can also say… I am not guilty and nothing is ‘wrong’ with me.

    ‘Guilty victim’ is not meant to remain as a shadow, or be carefully dissected as a psychological issue, or be overcome as a spiritual task… it is meant to recede and fade away when we no longer have an affinity with the pattern. In the meantime, acknowledge it as equal to all other expressions of you, but don’t hang on thinking you’re solving anything. Move on through and see it as a state of being, nothing more. And do give the inner child a hug – what a great teacher.

    At some point in the journey we can choose to be at peace with the full package of who we are. We don’t need anyone’s approval to lay down our burdens, take off the crown of thorns, unwrap the vine from around the heart, let ourselves love and be loved, and return to innocence.

    About the Author

    Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from

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