“You must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give.”
―C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
The Weight of the World
Burdens are a persistent occurrence in life. Facing challenges and cultivating will are essential to good living. Burdens play a natural role in coaxing us to be stronger, more patient and when all else fails to learn our limitations. Sometimes our burdens can overwhelm us, however, and if we don’t make the space to recover and reorient to them, they not only intensify but tempt us to take on the shadow perspective of “my troubles are greater than yours.”
In any given comparison of burdens, one’s troubles may, in fact, be more or less than someone else’s. Such comparisons can help us work out who needs help and how we can collaborate to find it. When we try and use our narrative of how burdened we are, to get sympathetic attention, to feel special, that we cause the inverse to happen. By proclaiming we alone bear the weight of the world, we push those who might otherwise help us away.
When we feel overly denied by life, when rejection and invalidation have taken on an emphasis in our attention, if we are not conscious of it, we become manipulative in our attempts to get what we have been denied. It is natural for those who are more burdened than others to receive special attention. Seeing this, we take on a narrative of being overly burdened by life in an attempt to get the special treatment we see those who are legitimately limited are getting.
The problem with this strategy is that it might work for a while, which then causes a shadow pattern to arise. Getting special treatment by exaggerating our burdens shows us that we are getting what we want only by being in this negative space. Instead of help bringing more ease to our lives, it reinforces the necessity of having burdens to get attention.
Rejecting the Rejected
Exaggerating our burdens as a strategy to get helpful attention requires we turn away anything in our lives that might help alleviate them. This is a form of self-denial that thrives on irony. Such self-rejection eventually turns others away from us, as they see we have no intention of receiving their help or of helping ourselves. Rejection begets rejection.
When this pattern locks in it becomes a tricky affair to escape. Using self-rejection to get attention and not receiving said attention will cause us to intensify our self-rejection in a desperate plea for attention. This may again work for a while, but as others see we have no intentions of actually being helped, they too will turn away. Such a shadow not only needs a pattern interrupt (or more than one) but also a complete reorientation of perspective to break the momentum of compulsion.
Suggested Divination Meanings
Am I engaging in negative self-talk, limiting what I can hear from others or my intuition?
Am I longing for a kind of support from others that I am unwilling to learn to give to myself?
Do I use a narrative of suffering in my conversations to elicit attention and the feeling of being special?
Do I lament my struggles and then turn away any offers of help?
Am I making my choices around the feeling of being rejected by others?
Do I disregard what others are offering me to return to my litany of complaints?
Am I making more trouble for myself and others by giving negative attention to things in my life that don’t truly matter?
Do I keep allies away by reciting my list of how they really wouldn’t be of real help?
Do I rely on there being challenges in my life to feel important or even relevant?
How can I give the attention to myself which I did not get from others when I most needed it?