People like us tend to do way more than they should to keep relationships (like marriages) alive and to keep systems (like families) working well. Not only do we tie up the loose ends and keep an eye on the details, but we also simply carry more than our share in life and in love. We care that much that we take on too much, that we make the success of anything our primary aim (often to the detriment of our health and well-being). As we have gotten older, we have realized that we can’t keep this up. We can’t keep doing things this way. Carrying more than our fair share on a regular basis is hurting us, and if we want to be in a better place emotionally and mentally and physically (because our psychological ailments tend to fester outward), then it would behoove us to make some necessary adjustments and learn how to carry only what is ours to carry. This will be very difficult at first because we’ve been sparing others the discomfort of using their own muscles of responsibility and adulthood-ness (I’m mainly referring to spouses and those we are in a peer-to-peer relationship with—though in parenting, it is still important to help our children learn responsibility by letting them do what they can in life as it is developmentally appropriate (that is, that we teach our children life skills by refraining from doing everything for them)). But the more we keep at it (the letting go of all the things that don’t have our name on it), the more we will see that the excess weight that we had been carrying is what has been keeping us from floating on top of the water instead of struggling with water up to our neck. We can do our part in life, and then we can let the rest fall. It’s the only way that we can love others enough to let them figure out their own stuff. And it’s the only way that we can love ourselves enough to take the misplaced pressure off.