Burden Basket

 Think about all the things that weigh us down in life, like anger, jealousy, resentment, grief, fear and insecurities which at times, we don’t even know we are carrying.   It’s not until we let go of these burden’s that we realise how heavy they were in our life.

All the burdens we carry do not just affect us, but everyone around us.  Everything we hold onto or let go of, has a ripple effect.

The Burden

Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the sides of the road.  At one place, a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to  her, lifted her over the puddle and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the Monastery.

In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, is it true, we cannot touch a woman ?”

The elder monk answered “yes, brother this is true”.

Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, why did you lift that woman on the roadside ?”

The elder monk smiled at him and said,  “Well, I left her on the other side of the road, but you brother, you are still carrying her.”

This parable made me smile and shows us how easily we allow ourselves to keep carrying an old story or an injustice or a wound from the past.  Carrying the burdens of others creates heaviness in us as well and so it’s important we become aware of why we do that.

Often I convince myself I have let go of an old resentment or wound, only to realise it is triggered again through a comment or a reaction.  Letting go of these burdens is not always easy and yet, through forgiveness, stillness and allowing yourself to move through your pain, you will find you become lighter and are more likely to let go and move on.

In all cases, we only carry the burdens we wish to carry.  So we need to take responsibility to seek support when we need it or become more self-reliant and find our own solutions.  Either way, when we let go, we become more spacious and this always allows more room to give and receive freely.

How have you learnt to let go of your burdens in life?






16 thoughts on “Burden Basket

  1. Karen,
    Very enjoyable and insightful essay. I think we are like pack-rats with our hurts as well as with those things we buy and hold on to ’til the crack of doom. Just take a look at our basements.
    We need to have a yard sale for our hurst and transgressions as we do with our basement stuff. Only, unlike with our basement stuff, the only patron for our sorrowful burdens, is God. If He can handle the world’s burdens, I know He can handle mine. So let go; and let God.

    1. Well said Alan. Like the basement, we keep adding to our Basket, without taking time to do an inventory, and before we know it, we are overloaded with too many things or too much emotional baggage.The emptying of the Burden Basket will free us and so yes, “Let go and let God”

    1. Thanks Carol it’s true, I’m slowly letting go of my control! I feel better when I let go and life is less stressful and lighter.

  2. Karen,
    I’m a slow learner. It’s amazing how many times I have come across this and how long it takes me to let go each time. When I do finally let go, I wonder why I held on so long in the first place. 🙂
    Diana xo

  3. Yes Diana, I think we can all relate to that same feeling, and I think we find it hard to let go because of what that may mean for us. Letting go means surrendering and changing a part of us that we have always known and that can be scary!

  4. I have been in that place and then when suddenly something clicks and I let go it is amazing how much more energy I have. Insightful post.
    I love the story of the monks.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, yes we get used to carrying heavy energy around but once we let it go we can’t believe how amazing we feel!

  5. This is such a helpful reminder Karen!
    Sometimes we may not even be aware that we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, and yet I see it every day in yoga class. Emotional stress shows in our bodies as well as our minds.
    In yoga we allow our body’s intelligence to release the energy around these wounds and (literally) move and breathe through the pain.
    There may not be awareness in our conscious mind, but we feel the glowing aftermath of letting go.

    1. Perfect Val, that is exactly how we can release our heavy energies. I always feel energised after every yoga practice. If more doctors prescribed Yoga instead of medicine, we would all be a healthier society!

  6. Karen I love this advice. The more we let go the happier we become. Life’s burdens can be a heavy load. I try to set things free, release it to the universe. That helps, thanks for reminding me of this.

  7. Love this. There is a native american tradition of hanging a burden basket on one’s door and when others enter they are to place their burdens in the basket, not bring them inside. I wrote about it long ago, but it seems like a lovely practice and similar to what you speak of. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    1. Thankyou so much, yes I love that tradition. We have so much to learn from their culture. Imagine Western Society practising this! It may leave the visitor a little lost for words ha.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s