The Carrying of the Cross

In the penultimate Sorrowful mystery, Jesus walks to his death, forced to carry the means of his punishment. As with the other indignities he has suffered, he moves forward with strength and integrity.
For me, my cross has always been my depression. The other day in group, we were asked to sit with our most negative thoughts about ourselves, with the most harmful of our automatic thoughts. I resisted, wanting instead to focus on my breathing but our facilitator kept pushing us. When I finally gave in, the sadness spread like so much venom in my blood. I slumped in my seat, felt my head get heavy, felt a lump in my throat. Tears welled up. Then I became angry and my breathing became shallow. Why did we have to sit with these thoughts? Didn’t she know this was terrible for us? Then I became resigned. These are my thoughts. I live with them. They have shaped me. But I recognized that I could shape them. I could shoulder this burden and make my way up the hill.
I have done it before. I will do it again. I know I am not alone. He is always with me. He is carrying most of the weight.

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