Discover more from The Uplifters
Caring is Not the Same as Carrying
The subtle art of becoming less competent
I’ve shared the lines below from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Surface Pressure with a lot of strong women lately, women who lead with big hearts and extraordinary concern for everyone and everything around them. Women who care. I love them, I admire them, I am them.
Give it to your sister, your sister's stronger
See if she can hang on a little longer
Who am I if I can't carry it all?
Caring lets us leave our people, our communities, and the world better. It lets us feel a sense of impact and purpose. It can also get really freaking heavy when we care by carrying the loads of others.
Like Encanto’s Luisa, we carry it all until we can’t, and the whole kit and caboodle collapses.
It’s actually not that awesome for the friends, family, and collaborators we carry for either. When we do all the heavy lifting, nobody else discovers how strong they are. They may even feel distrusted, disempowered, or as in this satirical NY Magazine cover from 1970, totally paralyzed, by your competency.
So, how do we show we care without collapsing?
We start by assuming others are capable.
We listen and empathize, while resisting the urge to fix.
We encourage others to embrace their strengths and take on roles and tasks that help them learn and grow.
We practice saying no and setting boundaries.
We heed our mental, physical and emotional responses that show us things are getting heavy.
It’s a murky line. It’s messy and uncertain. But, it can be a practice that shifts everything, not just for you, but for the people and projects you care about. So, here’s to experimenting this week with lighter ways of loving. I'm so happy we are all here to keep learning and growing together.
PS Ultra huge thanks to Jaclyn Dupont andfor caring and carrying me to this new platform. You both make me braver.
Thanks for reading Uplifters! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.