What are you carrying on your shoulders?

Close your eyes for a moment and feel your arms and shoulders. Are they soft and loose? Or do you feel pain and tense? Is your life carrying you lightly, or are you carrying it like a weight beyond your strength?

A few years ago I received a book. And in it, a parable by the Shams of Tabriz:

“Two men were travelling from one village to another. Once they came to a stream that had strongly swollen after heavy rains. Just as they were about to cross the water, they noticed a young and beautiful woman who was standing alone on the bank and needed help. One of them immediately got at her side, picked her up and carried her across the stream. On the other bank, he placed the woman on the ground, waved goodbye to her and both travelling companions went their separate ways.

For the rest of the trek, the other man was unusually silent and mumbling, not answering his friend’s questions.

After sulking for several hours, he was no longer able to remain silent and threw out: Why did you touch that woman?

She could have seduced you! Men and women should not come into contact with each other like that!

To this the first man replied calmly: My friend, I carried the woman across the stream and left her there. It was you who carried her with you all the way.

– Some people are just like that,” added Shams. – They carry their own fears and prejudices on their shoulders, crushed by their weight. “

Elif Shafak – “Forty Rules of Love”

I have decided to leave this story without comment.