Burden – (1) a load, especially a heavy one.
(Thesaurus) encumbrance, strain, care, problem, worry, difficulty, trouble, millstone; responsibility, charge, duty, obligation, liability.
During a conversation I was having with my soul friend, I remember telling her …
“we must speak life and not death into our husbands, into our circumstances, it’s our burden the “Burden of Eve.”
I remember immediately writing it down in my journal and believing something birthed in me. An understanding. The Burden of Eve is that which we inherit when we are born female. Some of the burdens are choices, actions, lifestyles.
Raised in a home where the role of the women was clearly defined. My mother was the cook extraordinaire and housekeeper unlike anyone else and for the most part the disciplinarian. Though in her role as a wife and mother, she always had dreams, she guarded them quietly in her heart. She was quick to point out that she was proud that her two daughters had obtained a higher education and careers.
She said she lived vicariously through our courage.
From that moment on I realized that every woman has dreams that often get deferred for others. We begin to carry others burdens. My mother did her best with the life experience she was afforded. Limited education, moving to a foreign land, needing to learn to speak and understand a new language, raise seven children in the housing projects, cope with the death of a toddler and submit to a relationship that was not perfect.
You see her burden was real, cumbersome and negative. Her joys were her children and grandchildren. Because of her limited exposure to life and love, my choices were limited and easily influenced. Somewhere along the way through a tremendous heartbreak and humiliation, I rose up to see that there was more.
I desired to do more, be more….
I survived the projects, a failed marriage, moved to another state, lost two babies, survived two different forms of cancer, walked my oldest son through the gravest experiences of his life, among other many other experiences.
You see these were my burdens, in which I found my purpose, my joy, my strength, my truth, my voice.
In the moment of unraveling came my truth, I was exposed, humiliated and vulnerable. I am convinced that it unraveled because it was not my burden to carry. The outcome was a shattered person that in the exterior looked like she had it all together, but with the unraveling came the exposure of a frightened woman, who realized the burden was too great to carry and I had to let it go.
I began to live in my truth.
We must redefine our burdens and believe that how we carry them will determine the outcome of our lives. You see burdens were never meant not to be carried.
They were meant to be identified and redefined.
Many of you may be wondering what exactly do I mean when I say,“The Burden of Eve”. Well, just that, the load, the weight that woman carry just by definition. Here are just a few that come to mind. Daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, encourager, confidante, organizer, helper, caregiver, housekeeper, prayer warrior, manager, counselor, nurse, chef, driver, provider, a listener. These are not in any particular order and are only just a few. We all have them in varying priorities. The moment we are born into this world, no matter the status, we are marked, branded, if you will, with all these labels and responsibilities and thus begins the process of molding and modeling.
When I speak of burden, it is not in the negative definition, but that which has determined your life. Your experiences, and your choices along with their outcome. While researching the word “Burden,” often used in a “negative” way, I choose to look at the word itself, I began to see a different “B.U.R.D.E.N.” when it comes to us as women.
We are (B) believing (U) understanding (R) Rewarding (D) Demanding (E) Exciting (N) Nurturing – These words identify our roles as women and often how we move in our circles.
As you can see my goals is to redefine “Burden” –
give it life, give it strength, give it power for good.
We as women have to realize and grasp the idea that burdens are inherited gifts that strengthen our resolve. They are not meant to break us. Exterior forces and influences make or break us. The choices.
Ultimately, how we live our lives is how we will end our lives. Were we happy in our journey? Did we experience joy in our relationships? Did we find peace in our day to day existence? Did we surround ourselves with truth? Or is our burden weighing us down?
What are you holding on? Why are you holding on to it? Does it validate your experience? Do you feel that if you let it go, you will be exposed? Will you have to face yourself in the mirror and look at your truth?
When we let things go, we allow room for what is supposed to be in our lives to take its rightful place.
If we loosen the ties that bind us, we will open up a space to find rest, peace, and understanding.
Embrace the beauty that God created in you and
carry the “Burden of Eve” with joy, strength, and love.