There is a well-known, massive, bronze statue in Rockefeller center, 45 feet tall weighing 7 tons, of the Greek god Atlas. The Titan god Atlas is a famous figure from Greek mythology. He led the war against the Olympic gods and lost. He was condemned to carry the world on his shoulders, as punishment, for all eternity. He is a symbol of stamina, strength, resilience and heroic endurance. You may be carrying the world on your shoulders just like Atlas.
You may be weighed down with problems, responsibilities, and worries. Unlike Atlas, you have options. You can lay your burdens down, let them go and let them out. These burdens sap your strength and life force. Persistence, perseverance, fortitude and tenacity are admirable traits but they can do great harm to the human body, spirit and psyche. Enduring a prolonged strain, like Atlas, over a period of time can make you sick and even kill you. Atlas is a myth and a god you are human.
If you absolutely, positively cannot lay your burdens down then, in order to survive and be well physically, mentally and emotionally, you will have to adjust your attitude and change your frame of mind. You will have to reduce the weight of the world on your shoulders in some way.
Instead of burdens you could see them as challenges or just plain situations. Accept them as a part of life or the “luck of the draw”. Change what you are doing and how you are doing it. Create a new routine for yourself. Create space and time for yourself. If you cannot lay your burdens down completely lay them down for a part of every day. Get some help with your responsibilities. Talk to a professional. You definitely need to let out the feelings and emotions that are caused by your burdens. Resentment, anger, guilt and despair are common reactions when you carry a heavy load. If they are repressed they will add to the weight you already carry.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305- 788-4864, firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
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