If you haven't noticed this yet about yourself, it's easy to see in others: we each seem to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. The nature of this burden may change with age. When young, we feel the weight of having to choose a direction in life. As adults, we feel encumbered by all the perceived requirements of an active life: trying to control events, win acceptance, maintain relationships, on and on, with each new self-shaped solution for success only increasing our burden. Then, as we naturally mature and slow down, we often find ourselves feeling oppressed by the things left undone or mistakes made along the way. In short, regardless of our age, we tend to feel weighted down by what we perceive as our responsibility to create and live a "meaningful" life.
Each of us, to some extent, feels certain that we are obligated to carry this weight. Our idea of shouldering it is to work hard, struggling to appear important in the eyes of others, as well as in our own. It's a wearisome task with few real rewards, and since the only real pressure we're under is self-imposed, the only relief we find is when we get off of our own backs!
Wouldn't you like to just let go? To release once and for all that recurring feeling that you're just not making it? Or, how about the weight of fearing what others think of you? Your concern for the future? Wouldn't it be wonderful to just drop the burden of feeling responsible for the outcome of every event? Yes. It is possible to live this lightly.
As we recognize the futility of trying to force ourselves and our lives into what we think they should be, we also begin to understand that all of our suffering for what we perceive as "coming up short" in life is self-inflicted. What we once mistook for being responsible to our future now shows itself to be only an unconscious punishment in the present. Our findings don't mean that we don't take necessary practical actions for our well-being, or that we are not decent to others. It means that we let go of feeling responsible for the future as though we must control its outcome. We realize that there is no way that our painful concern can positively affect any outcome, so we drop that concern. Bit by bit, we begin to hear what Real Life has been trying to tell us all along.
Now is all there is.
The future is not ours to control. Our responsibility may include choices about what's to be, but it is not to determine or suffer over what becomes of our choice.
Our responsibility is only to remain aware in the moment and to allow ourselves to be guided by and within that awareness. It's when we leave it at that, that our experiences become transformational.