Your Sisyphean Task

Guest post by Jo Anna Rothman.

The Sisyphean Task

Look into your life. Where is the losing battle? What or who are you convinced you have to fix? Save? Help, no matter if it works or not? No matter how it feels? Maybe it’s someone in your family. Or a friend. Maybe its colleague or your work in general. Perhaps it’s even part of you…the fight with your body or the fear of the wild newness. Where is the seemingly endless struggle to make it right?

Sisyphus. The mythical Greek king. He was sentenced to a life of pushing a boulder up a hill. Just as it would near the tiptop…it would roll back down. Every time. Forever. Each day, he would have to start anew. It was to be a punishment for his hubris. A punishment for tricking the gods. A punishment plain and simple.

Though Sisyphus is mythical, the story is very real. Chances are you’ve played it out at some point. You’ve worked. Tried. Fought hard. Done your damnedest to make things different. And just as it looks as if it’s all about to work out, something happens. The person screws up again. The client bails. The pint of ice cream in the fridge beckons. The building blocks come tumbling down. You, and that lovely boulder, have to start from square one again.

Here is the thing…you are not Sisyphus. At least you don’t have to be. There is no one, no thing, no part of you that has to be saved. Believe it or not, they (and you) are quite capable, just as they (and you) are. Pushing a boulder is not an act of service. Nor is it one of salvation. Least of all is it a punishment. You did nothing wrong. Neither did your boulder. At some point in time, you made a choice. Now you can make a new one.

When you choose to get stuck in the story of rolling that boulder up a hill, no one wins. No one makes makes it the top. Energy all around is drained. Your focus and intention leave your own life and your creative juju leaks out. They…the boulder, the family member, the friend, is zapped of powers as well. They no longer have to do. The spark diminishes. They atrophy. Mentally. Emotionally. Perhaps even physically. You don’t get the results you crave. They don’t get to experience life. Each push drains. Each person loses.

Why would you make this choice? Maybe you felt an ache to helpful. Or to be good. Righteous. Some sort of hero. Maybe someone, somewhere along the line told you that you needed to be useful in order to be loved. Know, you are loved. You are good. You are so much more…but not because of a boulder. Just because you are.

Often in these situations, a tumble back down the hill is the boulder’s messed up way of trying to become autonomous…a subconscious urge to walk up their own damn path. Of course, when they get to the bottom and look up, fear sets in. You are standing there ready to do it all over again…perhaps experiencing your own fear. It gets hard to resist old patterns.

I am not suggesting that you stop being of service. Or forget about working diligently on a project or on your own personal growth. I am offering the possibility that you can make the choice to empower rather than take away someone’s adventure. Instead of losing yourself in the climb, make it your practice to shine like the beacon you are. Guide. Illuminate. Cheer. Teach. Love. But leave the pushing behind. Begin walking with love in your heart. Compassion filling each step. Feel the lightness, the levity that comes when all you are responsible for is your own blessed experience. Know with each step forward, you inspire others to drop their Sisyphean task and glide, with grace and ease, toward the peak.

Jo Anna Rothman, MA is an intuitive coach and facilitator of The Receiving Project. She revels in assisting people in falling in love with their lives. She is committed to living a life full of pleasure, purpose and enthusiasm. And perhaps most important, she knows the secret to the perfect s’more.

To read more of Jo Anna’s guest posts on Kind Over Matter click here!

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