Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

You Are Carrying The Burden; The Burden Is Not You

“Life can get you down, so I just numb the way it feels.
I’ll drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills.
All the ones that loved me, they just left me on the shelf.
No farewell.
So, before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself.”

In Class 7, my then best friend told me “Meghalee, it’s like you’re carrying the burden of the world on your shoulders.” While that was a rightful jab at how pretentious and entitled I was as a teenager, it also reminds me of how each one of us plays the part of God, irrespective of our age. From our very first tryst with fear or responsibility, our shoulders get heavier with each passing birthday. First, it is about group assignments, and plant projects for EVS. Then, it moves on to sharing best friends, figuring out what the hell Love is supposed to be. Finally, it transitions into the crippling fear associated with earning a living and just being alive in this century- both equally difficult tasks to perform.

Suggested read: “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert: A Survival Guide For The Artist

On some days, I feel so heavy, I roll off my bed. Sometimes, the weight is less than what my spine can carry. On others, I am too heavy even for Sisyphus to roll up the hill. On those days, especially on those days, I remember what a 13-year-old told me: “Meghalee, it’s like you’re carrying the burden of the whole world on your shoulders.” I think of her very often. It separates the weight from what is intrinsically me. It reminds me that the weight is an addition; that is will never be who I am; that I will never be as heavy as the boulder pulling me down; that I am not the one to hate, here. And if I am not my burden, then maybe I could put some distance between the two, someday.

I bet you think of disappearing, of vanishing- sadness, stress, and all. I bet you have thought of how much space you occupy, how much freer this world would be if your shadow could make way for the deserving. I bet you have placed the worth of the world on the saw hanging over your head. Darling, if vanishing tricks could bring us world peace, then Houdini would have been our one-stop ticket to world peace. But look at us. Look at the world struggling like a dying engine, struggling like a child choking on candy, struggling like polar bears watching their home dissolve into the ocean- struggling. We are a part of the cosmos. And right now, it is a very difficult time for all life. With mental health charts striking all time lows, you are not the only one feeling too big for your shoes. We need heroes, we need dedicated workers, we need people in love. You cannot go out, yet.

Suggested read: “I Passed Into The Dusk”: Some Of The Best Works By Ivor Gurney

You are important. To everybody else, right now, you are important. The only person missing from that list is you, yourself. The dog that follows you around the block, will wonder where you went for all of their long doggy years. The barista around the corner will feel uneasy with one less name to misspell. Your landlord will be sad to sublet your apartment to tenants who will never be as good as you. Everybody you know will slip your name into conversation, unknowingly, and choke on your absence. You may not believe that you are wanted, loved, or that you make a difference. But you do. Sometimes, we pull ourselves down because we watch the world doing it so often. But replicating your bully in your own image was never the plan, was it? We are here to fight our demons, and if you cannot-

Ask for help. Ask for help because that is the most human thing to do; because we are only as alone as we want ourselves to be; because the world has seven billion people and you are naive if you believe that there aren’t millions who would rush to assist you. Ask for help because it will never belittle you, or encumber somebody else. It isn’t heroic to save somebody- it is basic human instinct. If you cannot afford a therapist- as so many of us- then just go ahead and talk to a friend. Talk to family. Talk to your bartender, your hairdresser, your cat, your neighbour- just let it out. Putting thoughts into words helps the darkness escape. Breathe it out of your system. Scream the void into conversation. Let. It. Go.

You will always be who you want to. The art that you dismiss as sub-par, makes you worthy of the title of an artist. The dance steps which you half-fail, half-improvise, make you a dancer. The food that you almost dump, but eat because you made it, makes you a chef. The melody you keep humming, is the song of the Universe, which you plucked out of thin air. Degrees are not the only things that make you worthy of titles. Illegitimate, you say? We are standing on the brink of a nuclear war. Who cares about legitimacy? Who care about societal approval? Who cares if you don’t have formal training? You are allowed to be whoever you want to be. So, don’t choose to call yourself a failure.

Pick the lint off of your aura, right now. In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you. Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion. We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.” It is true. Trampling over yourself, hating your heart, bad-mouthing your soul- it chips away more energy than you can afford to lose. Why are we constantly fighting to tear ourselves apart, really? All life has conveniences. All of humanity is struggling to find peace and happiness. In an already ongoing battle, why are we turning forces against ourselves? Discard all those things which weigh you down. Abandon the baggage that takes you to the middle of the ocean and anchors you to the ocean floor. Drop anything that is not beneficial to you. Sounds selfish? Then we are on the right path. Selflessness, or the “lack of self” is hardly something to glorify.

Suggested read: Aubade And Other Tom Sleigh Poems

You are carrying the burden- a variation of one that all of us have on our shoulders. Do not allow it to define you. Your adversity, your downfall, your hurt is a part of the package deal called Life. Ends do not mean that beginnings are off the table. Ruin has never stopped new civilizations from cropping up around it. Be honest in your devastation, and that much more beautiful in your ascent. You are worthy. You deserve the space you occupy here, the good things said about you, the warm hugs, the nice gestures, the fleeting moments of peace. You deserve everything beautiful, honest, and soft. You deserve to make noise for your share of woes, to celebrate for your triumphs, and to observe during the in-betweens. But most of all, you deserve to love yourself. The world is constantly wading in and out of light and darkness. There is hardly anything we can do about that. But if you hold onto your light, then you can be your own open sky at the end of the tunnel.

Hold on. This will all make sense, someday.

we will rise because
they still serve poaches
sunny side up
in quaint cafes,
on winter mornings,
and they remind you
of the summer sun.
In Park Street,
there is
a cheese dosa vendor
I chased through half
a year
always missing
by a fraction.
The smell of pork baos,
from Tiretta Bazaar,
drift into my room
with the dawn,
as photographers film
customers buying nirvana
I have not lived
those photographs
I cannot leave before
I have tasted enough
to forget.

we will rise because
there are too many instruments
and not enough time
in this life.
The rust-stained strings
of an aging guitar
will miss the skin
it wears out so often.
For every ten ukuleles,
there’s a single chord chart,
and we cannot abandon
the world before
it can sing enough.
There is a mystery instrument
eyeing my third paycheck
from a job that is
many, many years
in the future.
I cannot leave knowing
I never got to make
enough noise.

we will rise because
somebody desperately needs
our story.
when Cecelia Ahern
said all lost things
merely fall into
a parallel universe-
I stopped clinging
to everybody I loved,
and let parts of me
slide into
the unknown
knowing that they
would always be safe.
when Neil Gaiman
makes Love greater
than button-eyed monsters,
my feather-heart
feels less in need
of the heavy armour
it can almost
never carry.
I cannot leave knowing
there are stories of a lifetime
as I quit.

we will rise because
it simply is not
time to go

Featured image source: Instagram 

Article Name
You Are Carrying The Burden; The Burden Is Not You
You are carrying the burden- a variation of one that all of us have on our shoulders. Do not allow it to define you. You deserve everything beautiful, honest, and soft.
Meghalee Mitra

Meghalee Mitra

My introductions have always been "I'm too awkward for this." My exercise routine comprises oscillating between being serious and bat-shit-crazy, laziness, and hyper-activity. I love words, live for food, and am always looking for magic.