By Suzanne Wiggins
I believe the Universe has been sending me important messages out of context. Don’t get me wrong; the messages are always very helpful as provided. It’s just that when I’m struggling with a particular quandary and it hits me that the answer or lesson was already revealed in an earlier, unrelated context, it’s a pretty momentous feeling. It’s like Dorothy finding out that she could have gone home at anytime with the help of her ruby slippers. Perhaps this is how we learn to pay attention.
About a year ago while glancing through the archives of a blog, I found a post that described how poachers in some parts of Africa use a simple kind of trap to capture monkeys. They attach a jar to a heavy stone and bury the stone so only the jar is in view. Inside the jar they place a banana then they stand back at a distance to make the monkey comfortable enough to climb down from the tree to retrieve the fruit. As the monkey closes its fist around the banana, the hunters charge forward. The monkey attempts a quick getaway, but its closed fist is unable to be pulled from the jar. Only an open hand can fit through the narrow opening. Refusing to let go of its prize, the monkey meets his untimely demise.
‘Why doesn’t the monkey just let go of the banana?’ Hmmmm. Seems so easy, right? Well, I’ve been wondering…why don’t WE let go of the things that make us unhappy, deplete our peace of mind, limit our quality time with children, or cause us worry, stress and poor health? Why do we hold so tightly to the things that are familiar, but cause us unhappiness and pain?
What would happen if we let go of that oh, so secure job we hate, the relationship that is eroding our self-esteem, that deep concern about what others think of us, the constant urge to buy things we don’t really need, the tendency to avoid heartbreak by expecting the worst, the feeling that we have to be the one to keep the ship afloat, the idea that we have to work full-time, make a certain salary, have a specific title, or accomplish certain life goals by the time we’re 30, 40 or 50?
I get that taking risks is scary and it’s normal to avoid facing uncertainty and feelings of discomfort. BUT, what if we finally understood, that like the monkey, there is absolutely no downside to letting go of the banana?
What message might the Universe be sending YOU today?