What do You have in Common with a Trapped Monkey?

My neighbor told me a fascinating story I want to share with you. Over our morning coffee on Sunday, we somehow got on the subject of monkeys. (I know, not most folks average coffee talk subject!)

Anyway, Brandy was telling me that her brother spent some time abroad in the Philippines. While there, he discovered that the locals have a very unique tactic to trap unwanted monkeys.

They’ll use a bottle with a small opening at the top, or a coconut with a small hole carved out of it. The hole is only large enough for a monkey to slip his hand through. They place a piece of fruit in the jar or the coconut and leave the trap outside where the monkey can see it.

The monkey is smart. He will reach his hand through the small opening in the container to fetch the fruit. 

The ingenuity of the trap is when the monkey makes a fist to grasp the fruit, he can’t get his hand and the fruit out of the opening. 

The monkey must choose to either let go of the fruit to be free or to cling to the fruit and stay trapped. 

The choice is up to the monkey. Unfortunately, most monkeys will choose to cling to the fruit.

Are you the monkey in your own life?

Are you choosing to stay trapped because you won’t let go and be free?

We all have these areas in our life. We want to blame the relationship, the job, or the money for causing us the pain like the monkey blames the trap. But, often it’s our clinging to the “fruit” that keeps us trapped.

Maybe you do need to let go of one of these trapped areas in your life, or perhaps it would be easier to let go of your thoughts about one of these areas.

  • Let go that something should be a particular way. Play with other ways you could think about the situation. 
  • Let go of the idea of right and wrong. Maybe something just is.
  • Let go of someone else’s definition of a way to be. Create your own.
  • Let go of other’s opinions. Only listen to your heart.

There are a million ways to let go. You’ll know when you’ve found the right one for you because your heart will feel freer. You’ll breathe deeper. Relief will wash over you.

The more you let go of anything that doesn’t feel true for you. The better you’ll feel.