Theophanes the Cretan: Jesus in Golgotha
The Symbolism of the Cross
Edward Edinger suggests: “To take up one’s own cross would mean to accept and consciously realize one’s own particular pattern of wholeness.”
This invariably involves being suspended between successive pairs of opposites (like a veritable crucifixion), with its attendant suffering, and repeated death/rebirth experiences of the ego as it learns to bow to the demands of the Self.
However, consciously “carrying one’s life” in this way also provides the possibility of discovering the meaning of one’s unique, individual life and participating in life’s larger purposes.
It means the possibility of discovering one’s vocation and one’s own myth, that story which helps to make meaning out of the mystery.
(Edinger, Ego and Archetype, p.135)