I used to be superwoman. And I was good at it, too. I vanquished enemies without breaking a sweat, saved every day that needed to be saved–even when the days were not mine and my herioc deeds were not appreciated, let alone welcomed.
Whatever happened, I could pull myself together to make the best of it. I could push my emotions down into a hole so deep so fast that I never even knew what they felt like. I could swallow my tears and anger and disappointment so smoothly that nobody ever knew how lonely, frustrated, scared, and angry I was. I leaped problems in a single bound, landing on broken promises and hurt feelings and delayed dreams screaming maniacally, “It will be fine! Everything is just fine! God will make a way!” even when nothing was fine and God had made a way that others had failed to take, forcing me to figure out a new way. I would keep pushing and pushing and pushing until my soul collapsed, caught off guard by sudden hysterical tears and an unquenchable desire to punch a wall every day of my life.
Then one day, someone near and dear to me hit me in the face with words dipped in so much contempt and hatefulness that it felt like shrapnel raining down on me:
nobody asked you… super hero… super woman… super Christian…
So I put down my cape. I took it off and burned it. Because he was mean (I knew he meant to just hurt my feelings)–BUT HE WAS RIGHT. Nobody asked me.
And now, when people do ask, I shrug my shoulders and say, “Nope.” I no longer take on the burdens of others; I am the only burden I carry. If I am fine, then it’s okay. If I am not fine, then I go somewhere and cry and scream and think until I am fine again.
If I cannot do what I am getting ready to do purely out of love, I do not do it. Not even on my job. Defintely not at home. All the way down to cooking dinner. There is no more “I have to” in my spirit. The only thing I owe anybody is to love them. When I took off that mental cape, I took off the obligation of being everybody’s personal savior.
The reviews have been mixed. In some cases, the resentment towards me being a “super woman” has turned into resentment because I am no longer a convenient shoulder to lean on. In other cases, people appreciate me more because I value myself enough to say Nawl. In every case, I am satisfied with the decisions that I make to reach out (or not) because I choose to not bear the weight of “have to”.
If you are someone who is suffering from carrying the weight of everybody else’s worlds on your shoulders, I challenge you to drop that cape into the fires of Mordor before you fall prey to being used up and spit out. Love yourself enough to know which battles are yours, which crosses you actually need to carry. You will find that most of the time, you should just walk away, preserving your peace of mind and your powers for another day.