The Monkey? and the Nut
I love the great lesson that has been written in several books about the process of catching a monkey. I’m sure most of you have already read it, but I will quickly paraphrase. The person who is catching a monkey takes a small looking box that has a small hole cut out of the front of it. This hole is small enough for the money to fit its hand in. The catcher places a nut inside the box. The monkey grabs the nut but is unable to take out their hand because the hole isn’t big enough for the nut and the monkeys hand. If the monkey wanted to escape, the monkey could let go of the nut and pull out its hand. Most times the monkey doesn’t let go of the nut and the monkey is caught.
Why am I thinking about the process of catching a monkey? So often all of us have things that are like the nut inside the trap in our lives. For me and this particular topic, my nut is ensuring others understand me. I am not speaking about the valuable relationships in my life like my relationship with my wife, and kids. I am talking about people who have no investment into my happiness now or ever. I sometimes find myself feeling I have to clarify my lifestyle or my spirituality to ensure they know I am valuable. As I have thought about this a good friend of mine has taught me a simple lesson, she says “how someone else feels about you is none of your business.” At first I was offended and thought to myself “what the hell, of course that’s my business.” But really the way someone else feels about me is their business.
That is the good news. That is freedom.
That is allowing other people to have their journey and frees us up to enjoy our own journey. Often times I hear people who struggle in their own journey because they worry about what someone does or does not feel about them. I have found myself being in the trap even recently and I’ve had to reevaluate a relationship because I was holding onto a “nut” or expectation in that relationship.
My question this week is what belief systems (or nut) are we trying to hold on to that keeps us from freedom? What makes us stuck in having a relationship with someone because we feel like they have to understand us completely. My wife and I have this discussion often. We have many people in our life who are so great and so good and there are some very core belief systems that are different. In past times there have been heated conversations and feelings have been hurt for the stubbornness that I have had trying to convince somebody else that what they believe and what I believe are different and someone was right and someone was wrong. This is where division happens instead of connection.
Power comes from letting go and allowing each of us to have our own journey.
So often we get caught up in who believes what, and what way is the right way. There are many roads that lead to various destinations and ultimately all of us want to be happy. Whatever road someone takes is truly none of our business. As a parent we can lead, we can guide, we can love, but at some point we have to allow our children to have their own journey. I am sure there have been times when my grandmother has wanted to step in and tell me I should or should not do something. But she never did. She loves me. There was a brief time in my life where she had to step away, so she could understand in her own way what she needed to do. A lot of times people asked me if there is resentment because of this situation; I quickly say NO! My grandmother invested enough for me throughout my life knowing that she loves me, but in that moment when she had to step back there was enough love in the love tank the process was part of the plan.
So, I ask you again, what belief systems are you holding onto that’s keeping you trapped. What do you need to do to let go and be free?
One thing I know for sure is if we let go of something, it creates space for something greater to come in. Trust the process.
As always I would love to hear your thoughts!