Many years ago, one of my first spiritual teachers shared a powerful story with me about a young Native American girl who was having nightmares. Her father, the Chief, was away leading a hunting expedition for many days. Fearful dreams that something terrible had happened to him haunted her every night. After a few days, the village medicine woman noticed the young girl sitting by herself looking exceptionally tired. She asked if anything was wrong, but the young girl told her she was fine. The medicine woman knew better and shared this wisdom with the young girl. “Little one, there is no need to keep what is troubling you to yourself. A burden shared is a burden lessened.”
The young girl softened momentarily, but then stoically replied, “I am the chief’s daughter. I am strong.” With outstretched arms, the medicine woman beckoned the young girl to come sit on her lap. Reluctantly, the sleep-deprived girl acquiesced and crawled over to the safety of the medicine woman’s embrace. After a few moments, she felt the young girl take a deep breath and relax deeper into her lap. That’s when the medicine woman pointed to a large stone across the way.
“Do you see that large stone over there? You are strong, but that stone would be too heavy for you to lift by yourself. However, if you asked two or three of your friends to help you, all of you together could easily carry it. The same is true of our burdens. Alone they are heavy. Shared, they become much lighter and easier to carry.”
The young girl pondered this for a moment and then began sharing her troubling dreams with the medicine woman. It was true. Once she spoke them out loud she felt lighter. The medicine woman reminded her how many times her father had gone away on hunting expeditions just like this one, and how each time he returned home with an abundance of food for the whole village. This remembrance brought a smile to the young girl’s face. She was able to replace her fearful thoughts with this joyful image of her father’s homecoming. That night her dreams were happy ones and she slept peacefully.
I was reminded of this story last week when two of my dearest friends experienced a devastating and unexpected loss in their family. Ever since I heard the news I have been doing my best to let them know I am right there holding this heavy stone with them. I am so grateful to know they also have a loving spiritual community to help them carry this stone. I couldn’t imagine them trying to carry this burden by themselves. When tragedy strikes, it’s so important to lean on the strength of people who love us. That’s just one of the many benefits of having a spiritual community. I know there are many of us who continue to send them love and prayers.
Is there a burden you are carrying that could be lessened by sharing it? I encourage you to reach out to those who love you. Choose ones who can hold the high watch without adding more weight to the load. I would be honored to assist you with one of my Life Coaching or Family Constellations sessions. Both can help you release whatever is weighing you down. Please send me an email or visit my website for more information or to schedule a session or sessions.
Until next time, may you always remember that there is no stone too heavy when you invite the power of love to help.
“…together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.”
~ A Course in Miracles – T-13.X.14