I got this idea for a blog post from reading a friend’s social media post about another friend feeling like she was being a burden. I thought about that because my friend posted a picture of herself looking radiant and happy saying, essentially, “Is this the face of a burdened person?”
So I started thinking.
Sometimes we are burdened by helping others. In fact, we’re often burdened, but it doesn’t follow that being burdened is a bad thing. “Being a burden” or “feeling burdened” have plenty of negative connotations, as if they’re a bad thing. Really, the key is what we’re being burdened with. If we’re being burdened with sin or depression or the consequences of bad choices, then yes, that’s not fun. But if we’re being “burdened” with the care of another, then that’s not bad at all.
It’s okay to be burdened with service to another, to rush in your spare moments to the aid of a friend or lose sleep comforting someone or putting off buying something for yourself in order to buy a necessity for another. After all, growth is rarely easy or painless. And serving others causes the best kind of growth: the growth of love, the growth of the capacity to love.
So being burdened by learning to love better? Yeah, that’s cool. I’m all over it.
Plus, it’s all about attitude. You only feel put upon if your service is selfish. Once you serve in love and charity—once you become charitable—then service is a pleasure. You, like my friend, can say, “Is this the face of a burdened person?” The video “Lift,” on the Mormon Channel, is a good example of that beautiful change in attitude.
But do you know what? If you feel burdened (and not in a good way) with service, keep on at it. Keep on serving, keep on loving, keep on praying and reading the scriptures. You’ll get there. I’d lie if I said I never gave a sigh of weariness when it comes to service. We all probably do because becoming charitable and loving as the Savior is doesn’t come easily or quickly. It takes work. But the happiness that results? So worth the effort.