monkey eating apple and do not let go

The Importance Of Letting Go

Letting Go

The story of a monkey

There once was a happy monkey. He wandered through the jungle, happy to be alive. He stopped to eat delicious fruit when he was hungry, and resting when he was tired.

One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest. Then sniffed the apples and smelled nothing.

He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood. They appeared beautiful, however, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.

He held his new wooden apples proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He payed so much attention to them, that he didn’t even notice his growing hunger.

A fruit tree reminded him. He squeezed the apples in his hands, and couldn’t bear to let go of them in order to reach for the real fruit.

In fact, he couldn’t relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but hungry and less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails.

The wooden apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey began to think about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn’t climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go?

Letting go seemed crazy

Letting go seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it’s fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples, reached up for his meal, and was happy again.

Letting Go Of Wooden Apples

Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as “productive” – carries it like a shiny wooden apple.

But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples – they prove he’s “doing everything he can.” He holds onto them compulsively.

This is a hard thing to see. We identify so strongly with our things even, feeling pain when our cars got dents.

How much more powerfully do we identify with our beliefs and self-ideas? Yet they don’t always feed our souls, do they? And we become tired of defending them.

How else could the story end? The monkey might be found dead of hunger, under a beautiful tree, with fruit within reach, but still grasping his wooden apples.

I chose to end it with him letting go, because only with open hands can we receive.

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gavel in trial courts for guilty and not guilty suspects

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 2 of 2)

Learn more of about guilt, read the previous article:

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 1 of 2)

 

Continuation:

 

Fran actually knows that she is not doing anything wrong. Yet she continues to judge herself whenever her mother or others are hurt or upset. There is a very good reason for this.

Fran WANTS to believe that she is causing others’ feelings because it gives her a sense of control over how others feel about her. The wounded part of her that wants to control how others feel about her reasons that, “If I can cause others to be hurt or upset, I can also cause them to be loving and accepting.

If I just do things right, then I can control how others feel about me and treat me.” This belief in control gives Fran the illusion of safety. She does not want to know that she is not in control over how others feel about her and treat her.

She does not want to know that she does not pull the strings on others’ feelings and behavior.

While Fran doesn’t like the feeling of guilt, she is unconsciously willing to go on feeling guilty in order to maintain her illusion of control. If she comes into truth about her lack of control over how others feel about her and treat her, her toxic guilt will disappear. Toxic guilt and an addiction to control go hand and hand.

The toxic guilt and healthy guilt

We all need to be able to feel healthy guilt – the guilt that comes from actual wrongdoing. But toxic guilt is not good for anyone. You can move beyond toxic guilt by understanding that:

  1. the belief that you can control others feelings and behavior by doing things “right”
  2. leads to self-judgment to control your own behavior to get yourself to do it “right”
  3. which leads to toxic guilt.

The way out of toxic guilt is to:

  1. fully accept of your lack of control over others feelings and behavior
  2. which leads to a lessening of self-judgment
  3. which leads to a lessening of toxic guilt.

With practice, you can completely eliminate your toxic guilt. It’s all up to you!

 

— end —

gavel to use for guilty and not guilty suspect

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 1 of 2)

Guilt

Are you plagued with guilt? There is a big difference between healthy guilt and toxic guilt. In this article, learn what creates toxic guilt and how to heal it.

It is important

Guilt is an important feeling. It is the appropriate feeling to have when we have deliberately done something hurtful or harmful to others. People who can harm others without any feelings of guilt or remorse were formerly called sociopaths or psychopathic personalities, and are now defined as suffering from Anti-social Personality Disorder.

Anti-social Personality Disorder is a severe disorder that includes – along with many other symptoms – the lack of a conscience. Without a conscience, people can deliberately harm others without ever feeling guilt or remorse.

While it is very important to feel guilt at deliberately harming others, many people feel toxic guilt. Toxic guilt is inappropriate guilt – guilt that comes from self-judgments regarding having done something wrong when is no actual wrongdoing.

A true story

For example Fran, one of my clients, was exploring the guilt she feels when she speaks with her mother.

Feelings of guilt

“No matter what I say, my mother always seems to feel hurt and then I feel guilty at hurting her. Sometimes I wish I never had to talk with my mother. I don’t want to not have a relationship with her, but I hate feeling guilty all the time.”

Fran’s feelings of guilt are not coming from actually inflicting harm on her mother. Her feelings are coming from the self-judgment that she absorbed from her mother’s judgments of her.

Her guilt is coming from the fact that she is telling herself she is doing something wrong. Fran falsely believes that if someone feels hurt, it must be her fault.

Fran’s mother taught him that when her mother was feeling hurt, it was his fault. Now Fran feels guilty whenever someone she is involved with feels hurt or angry.

It is in the beliefs

However, it is not the other person’s feelings, nor their blame, anger or judgment toward her that is causing Fran to feel guilty. It is her own self-judgment that is causing her feelings of guilt.

If Fran did not believe that she was responsible for causing others’ feelings, she would not feel guilty when her mother or others blamed her for their feelings.

 

Continue reading:

Toxic Guilt, Healthy Guilt (Part 2 of 2)

car key and a dream red sports car

Dream Big (Part 1 of 3)

The Ability to Dream Big

We still have the ability to dream big, no matter how old or young, no matter where we live. And no matter what our family believed and taught us to believe. However, most of us need to clear the cobwebs off our imagination. And that’s just what we’re going to do.

“I’m going to be an astronaut.”

“I will be a movie star.”

“I’m going to be the President.”

“I’m going to own a chocolate factory!”

What were your childhood dreams?

Why is dreaming so important?

Dreams play a significant role in determining the grandeur or limitations of life. You’ve heard of the “glass ceiling.” Dreams are the glass ceiling we create for our own life. We can create a ceiling just above our head or somewhere out at the edge of the Milky Way!

When that glass ceiling is very low, it often is because we’ve allowed our dreams to be created for us, either by others or by our unconscious mind. Who do you know who chose a career because their parents “suggested” it? Who do you know that stays at a job they hate because it pays the bills?

Think about your own life

How much room do you have until you hit your glass ceiling? What parts of your life could use some dream expansion?

Your imagination needs to be used regularly or it will atrophy. In the same way that you keep your heart and lungs healthy by walking, or your biceps strong by lifting weights. You need to exercise your dream muscle to keep it in good shape.

But before you can really begin working out your dream muscle, you need to know what gets in the way.

All of us carry limiting beliefs

Some we may be aware of. Others may lie hidden beneath the radar of our awareness. Read through the following list of beliefs slowly. Ask yourself if any of them seem familiar. Notice how you feel when you read each one.

 

Continue reading:

Dream Big (Part 2 of 3)

Dream Big (Part 3 of 3)

lady sitting having a self-talk

Self-Talk (Part 2 of 4)

Do not miss out the wonderful recent article:

Self-Talk (Part 1 of 4)

 

Continuation:

 

  1. Quote: “If you’re in the habit of saying you “hate” things– you “hate” your hair; you “hate” your job; you “hate” having to do something. Do you think this raises the intensity of your negative emotional state than if you used a phrase like “I prefer something else”? End quote.
  2. Change the phrase from “I hate” to the phrase “I prefer”. Could it be that simple? “I’d prefer an new car”, I’d prefer an new hairdo” I’d prefer a new job”, I’d prefer new clothes”. “I’d prefer to do something else”.

The intensity of those statements dropped big time because you used different words. I know this for a fact. If you simply change your habitual vocabulary, and these would be the words you consistently use to describe your life and your emotions.

If you change your habitual vocabulary you can instantaneously change how think, how you feel and how you LIVE!! I really want to drive this home to you.

You’re Self-Talk that you’re using right now is determining your destiny. Think about that for a second (maybe a little longer). Your words are shaping your beliefs and impacting your actions.

Much of where you are in life right now is due to your Self-Talk. So if you’re using words that are non-empowering. CHANGE THEM to words that will empower you.

How do you know what you’re Self-Talk is?

Simple really. When an event or challenge happens in your life how do you react, what do you say? If you’re saying it out loud you’re probably saying it to yourself, and vice versa.

Here are some examples, and these are from many of the people I speak to on a daily basis. It may be different for you.

When something happens a challenge in your life, do you say to yourself?

“Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why did this have to happen now?”

 

Continue reading:

Self-Talk (Part 3 of 4)