"I just don't want to be a burden."
How often have you told yourself that and hidden your feelings, fears, and pain from loved ones?
Earlier this week, I was talking with a friend for whom I have some affection. She's been through a lot the past couple years and as we discussed coping with life's challenges by relying on loved ones, she said, "I just don't want to be a burden."
Relying on loved ones can be scary.
For so many of us, something in our past frightened us into thinking that sharing our pain with others puts an unconscionable weight on their shoulders. We fear becoming an inconvenience. We fear they'll get tired of us and reject us.
And that's true. They would reject us... if we really were the people we perceive ourselves to be.
But we're not. Mirrors are ugly. We see too many blemishes and scars to love ourselves and the beauty of the person we really are; the one we've hidden from the world.
We all have our ups and downs. Sometimes the crushing weight of the world drives us into despair and sometimes we find ourselves soaring above it.
When we love someone, we don't just experience their sorrow. We also experience their joy. And we experience their peace and their chaos and their awe and their anger and so much more. That's what makes us all human and we fall in love with humans, not robots.
Not only did I see this in my friend that night, but I saw it in two other friends over the past two weeks. I see it in myself, over and over again.
For as long as I can remember, I buried my negative emotions where no one could see them. I suppressed my feelings in fear of burdening loved ones. I was scared that if they knew me, they wouldn't like me; that I'd be nothing but a weight on their shoulders.
I felt I wasn't worthy of being loved. So I hid behind perpetual "happiness".
The great irony is that what brought me authentic happiness was being there for the people I love in both joyous moments and painful ones. It's a gift to share in another's woes as much as it's a gift to share their abundance.
I'm not a burden to those I love any more than they're a burden to me. You not a burden to me.
You are NOT a burden.
I love you and you're the joy of my life. Let me be there for you just as you want to be there for me. Consider it a gift to me. It's what I yearn for more than anything in this world.
Let your sorrow carve a valley deep into my soul,
That I may fill it with the joy of our love.