Monkey Fists


I understand that it is relatively easy to catch a monkey. You simply put something enticing into the hollowed end of a coconut (like peanuts) and they will reach in to grab them and make a fist. Then you reel the coconut in by a string. The monkey will refuse to let go of the peanuts to save his/her life because they perceive that they are something needed…even though they are not. In essence, they risk everything and trap themselves based upon false perceptions.

As I observe the people in my life I see them doing this as well. Risking what is really important to their health and happiness in order to be able to save their pride, or some worn out perception of what is “right”, or relationships that should no longer matter, or their side of an argument from a decade ago that has long since been forgotten by everyone else, or a promise they made to someone who is no longer here, or a million other reasons. They hold tight and won’t let go. It frustrates me, particularly when I stand to lose something dear because of their stubbornness. And I clench my own fists in anger at that pending loss.

But the truth is I, too, am holding peanuts in my own clenched fist in a different coconut. And I can’t seem to drop them for valid reasons ~ or at least they appear to be valid to me. Perhaps the difference in my life and the reason I have been able to move forward against many odds is that I am aware of this. Most of the time I manage to let go. Sometimes I cannot. But, I work on it every day.

There are some things in life that are worth holding tight. They define us. They protect us. They lead us in the right direction. They are true to our essence. And sometimes, they are just a handful of stupid peanuts. The trick is knowing the difference.