In Mark 10:21: ". . .go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast . . . give to the poor. . . take up thy cross and follow me." [KJV]
What does it mean to take up our cross?
In context, the literal says do sacrifice our money to the poor and somehow this takes up a cross. And that action is certainly one method.
But I think there is a larger meaning.
If we look closely at the Crucifiction, the whole cross experience, Jesus is demonstrating who God really is. He is a God who meets Sin with love. So when love meets sin, a cross gets erected.
When we act out of God's love, we bare a cross because we open ourselves to a compassion that can be hurt. It's called bearing someone's burden. When this happens, we suffer with Jesus through His love abused. The journey is part of the path of something or someone being redeemed.