If you read about my little 8yo friend and her rock with glitter, you may be considering your rocks too.
Most of us don’t want our rocks anymore. And, as parents, we don’t want to pass them on to our children.
Yet we may also oddly discover that for some reason, we are fearful to set them down.
Carrying our rocks makes us exhausted, yet we are used to their weight. Not having them in our lives would feel unfamiliar. Perhaps our rocks have defined us in ways. Even though we don’t really want them, who would we be without them?
What would it feel like to NOT be burdened?
These unknowns tend to elicit fear. If the thought of letting go of your rock brings up fear for you, you’re normal. So, what are your options? Pretending the rocks aren’t there isn’t working any more. Covering them with glitter isn’t fooling anyone, especially you.
But in order to set them down, we first have to acknowledge them, as well as the feelings that may be holding us back. Have you acknowledged that your rock is there in the first place? Are you ready to acknowledge that what you are carrying is not protecting you, but instead burdening you?
Spend a moment considering – what does the weight of your rock feel like? How is that weight showing up in your present?
What do you feel when you imagine yourself putting your rock down?
It may be difficult to find the words to describe your feelings about your rock/s – also normal.
Many of us were trained to ignore our rocks. We therefore had to shove away the feelings our circumstances and experiences elicited. Some of us did this to get through; some to survive.
We were not taught the words that allowed us to communicate our inner worlds, nor encouraged to use those words.
We were left alone without a map to assist us on the journey.
You may not yet have the vocabulary to describe your inner world and that’s ok. Be kind with yourself and start with what you might be feeling – take a guess. “I feel (Nervous? Doubtful? Excited? Scared?) when I consider laying down my rocks.”
Putting words to it will allow you to find your way through it.
I invite you to find a moment to read this out loud:
“They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.”
– Pslam 107:27-30
Is the weight of life causing you to stagger? Perhaps you feel at your wits’ end?
Begin to put voice to it – it doesn’t have to be perfect – a cry will do.
Remember, you can offer yourself a safe place and invite God to be with you. Together you can begin to practice what you did not have the opportunity to learn when you were younger.
The scripture above says “they were glad when it grew calm.” Some calm would be welcomed, but sometimes you have to come to your wits’ end to get there. Sometimes no longer being able to carry your rocks in your own strength is what it takes for us to finally arrive at a place where healing can begin.
If you’re experiencing burnout as a parent – cry out to God in your own unique way.
Perhaps unlike in childhood or in your current circumstances, when no one listened or you felt misunderstood, your Heavenly parent is listening.
He is deeply attuned to your inner world and will help you find the words. He is the parent who is strong enough to handle your cry.
So, let me ask you one more time, how do you feel when you imagine yourself putting your rocks down?
Walking with you,