Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Atlas Complex

Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don't take yourself so seriously."  - Norman Vincent Peale

This quote spoke to me tonight, loud and clear.  Rick constantly has to remind me that I can't fix everything for everyone.  I have been a caregiver since I was a child. I watched over my younger brother, and as a 'tween and before I could drive, if family members were sick and needed help, my mom would send me.  I look back now and realize how ludicrous that was to send basically a child
to care for an adult.  But thinking back, as a child and even as a teenager, I was old.

I have come a long way, but I still have my moments......when I assume that yes, I can fix it.
Yoga has helped me so much,  that and the study of Eastern philosophy.  I talk about "letting go" in yoga, and usually it is for my benefit as much as anyone else's.  Studying the balance, the yin and the yang has changed me makes so much more sense now.  Probably a great deal of it is my age, and understanding how little I really do know.  I talked with my classes today about the importance of being responsible for yourself, but not for everyone else.

I see students come to class often, so stressed that their shoulders are up to their ears........they are Atlas, believing that everything will crash and burn without them.  Life teaches hard earned lessons,
when I first started my current job seven years ago, I became so enmeshed with my students that I thought I couldn't even take sick days.......I thought they needed me that much.........well my body rebelled and I became so sick, I missed many days.  I learned I was not Atlas, and that everyone and everything would go on without me.

Tonight, if you, like me......forget your identity sometimes and think that you are really Atlas.
Look in the mirror, no one's shoulders are that big........laugh out loud at the absurdness of you thinking you can fix it all......... and remember, even when you and I are no longer on this earth......the problems, the pain, and all the mess will still be here for someone else to try and fix.

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