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The Monkey Trap


Margee
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Some of us have had the hardest time 'letting go' once and for all, of the whole concept of God and especially Christianity.

 

Remember the story of the 'monkey trap'? Here it is if you haven't heard it before:

 

How do you trap a big monkey in a small cage the size of a banana? Easy! You place a banana inside the cage and leave an opening large enough for the monkey’s hand, but not for the banana. As soon as the monkey grabs the banana, it’s trapped. The monkey can set itself free if it lets go of the banana, but it won’t! By not giving up what it has in its hand, it locks itself just outside the tiny cage.

 

I am much the same – I hold many “bananas” that keep me trapped in little “cages” – because I just won’t let go. Then come the 'bloody wrists'! I don't like to 'let go'! Has anyone found an easy way to let go of the bananas? :shrug:

 

Here are a few quotes that have to pertain with 'letting go.Which quote helped you the most to let go ?'

 

1.“We can never turn back the pages of time, though we may wish to relive a happy moment, or say goodbye just one last time, we never can, because the sands of time continue to fall, and we can’t turn the hourglass over.” – Unknown

 

2.“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” — Herman Hesse

 

3.“One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” – Michael Cibenko

 

4.“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

5.“Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” – The Wonder Years

 

6.There’s no need to miss something from your past - There’s a reason it didn’t make it to your future” – Unknown

7. “Every exit is an entry somewhere.” -Tom Stoppard

 

8. “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” – Headstone

 

9.“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” – Unknown

10. “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers

11.“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

12. “Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to.” – Anonymous

 

13. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

14.“The Tao Te Ching says, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. Have you ever struggled to find anything, only to find it after you have given up? This is the paradox of letting go.

 

15. Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.

Raymond Lindquist

 

 

 

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When the fear of the known becomes greater than the fear of the unknown, true change takes place.

You're speaking of emotional understanding and acceptance, which is more difficult to pull off than intellectual understanding. Personally, I think it takes some time, a few experiences and some practice in critical thinking. Tee shirt slogans and bumper stickers usually aren't enough to effect a personal paradigm shift.

 

Patience...

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Has anyone found an easy way to let go of the bananas?

 

Heh, remember, God created Bananas just for us!!...

 

 

 

 

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But seriously, these things take time, it's hard to have an entire paradigm shift. I kept reading and reading and having little small emotional and intellectual realizations that led to a greater understanding of myself and my place in this universe, though I am sure even that is limited! It's truly a privilege to be on the amazing, yet probably ultimately futile journey we are on, all the more reason to savor it.

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Margee,

 

I've got cage marks all over my wrists!

 

You've heard the old refrain "sick and tired of being sick and tired," well on my better days I let go of what makes me miserable, dis-eased and afraid. Sick. In much the same way that I let go of my religious faith, that is, when I found that it was “killing me softly.”

 

My desire for bananas are endless. Lately I looked at my bruised wrists and clinched hands and I grieved. In that moment, when I was compassionate with myself, I let go and wept. That was my first baby-step in the direction of peace, what some call equanimity--mental and emotional calmness and evenness of temper, especially in the difficult times of unpredictability and uncertainty. (That type of compassion is not subject to “burn out.” For me the discovery of the way of authentic compassion is a direction on my innate compass that indicates that I’m headed in the right direction. An example of how that works for me is that I no longer eat a meal without a sacred reverence for animal and plant that ceased living to nourish me. When I see sacrilege I am moved to act. So when I saw my needless mental suffering I stopped. In that moment I befriended myself, needlessly suffering, lost in a life not my own. Grieved! That’s a baby-step Margee. That’s a little “let go,” a little peace! In those moments, when I see things for what they are and what they are doing, I pause, take a step back, breathe in the fresh air and rejoice. I’m spirited!

 

I’m learning that the "bananas" are what I think and feel will bring me predictability and certainty, that was what my religious faith was all about. God was supposed to make for predictability and certainty.

 

Letting go that distorted religious banana was no easy task, it represented comfort, hope, escape form responsibly, escape from knowing for myself what my experiences tell me about the nature of Reality --use whatever word that satisfies your understanding of the is-ness of life--God works for me, that is if you use it only one time a year and only to yourself. You know what I’m saying here! I read you last prayer.

 

When an old and comfortable concept of reality dies--when the old distortions of God died- a leave taking out of Eden began for me. Those old distortions were only that; distortions. When I realized that I was living a life based on someone else’s version of what my life was supposed to be about, that realization gave my pain, conflict and dislocation a meaning.

 

Because rather that being a victim I realize daily that the hero and heroine must descend through the dim winter light into the chaos and pain of living before they can spring into the luminous light of the ordinary with satisfaction and spirit. And live in the midst of the event of life catastrophe or calm The ordinary-ness --to use the words of Byron Katie; just “Loving What Is.” As a good friend of mine puts it “loving life for nothing.“ Maybe that is what it means to die in order to be reborn into the ordinary. The old thinking and out grown concepts must die before I can taste what satisfies my mind, my body and my spirit.

 

Life is a process of beginnings without end. Little “letting goes,” baby-steps. I’ve found that before I can even take the first step and “let go a little,” I first have to recognize the suffering that arises from my desire for certainty and predictability. Just seeing the suffering in the desire loosens its hold on me, whether it’s wanting to be included in a gathering of “successful” friends or clinging to the hope for a positive results from a blood test. Once I see the suffering in my mind and feel it in my body, I can begin to let go a little. As soon as I do that, I can get a taste of freedom (freedom is like authentic compassion it is not subject to burn out; the compass is pointing in the right direction here, do you get what I‘m saying?) that motivates me to let go a little more.

 

Ever played hid and seek? A friend hides something and when you go to find it they say “Your getting warm,” when your getting close to finding the treasure and “You’re getting cold, “ meaning you’re no where close discovery.

 

Our natural compass is akin to that game. When your close to the truth you’re peaceful--calm, even-tempered -- (whether that truth is one I wish I did not have to accept or experience and rather avoid). When I’m not at peace I experience compulsion, driven-ness, fatigue, monotony, chronic boredom, depression, despair, apathy, victim stance, illness, and wanting to do yourself in--suicide. My old standard refrains are “Why me?” “Why now?” They sober voice of reason, wisdom and freedom recants “Why Not? my beloved.”

 

Being intimate with my dark and luminous emotion, that is, realizing when they “come to visit” and what my physical reaction in relation to them are, is what I consider the natural sign post or the directions in which my compass points in regard my location to needless suffering (there is a difference between inescapable and needless suffering, know the difference is crucial).

 

I thought brave people have no fear. The truth is that brave people are brave because they are intimate with their fear.

 

 

saner

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Margee,

 

I've got cage marks all over my wrists!

 

You've heard the old refrain "sick and tired of being sick and tired," well on my better days I let go of what makes me miserable, dis-eased and afraid. Sick. In much the same way that I let go of my religious faith, that is, when I found that it was “killing me softly.”

 

My desire for bananas are endless. Lately I looked at my bruised wrists and clinched hands and I grieved. In that moment, when I was compassionate with myself, I let go and wept. That was my first baby-step in the direction of peace, what some call equanimity--mental and emotional calmness and evenness of temper, especially in the difficult times of unpredictability and uncertainty. (That type of compassion is not subject to “burn out.” For me the discovery of the way of authentic compassion is a direction on my innate compass that indicates that I’m headed in the right direction. An example of how that works for me is that I no longer eat a meal without a sacred reverence for animal and plant that ceased living to nourish me. When I see sacrilege I am moved to act. So when I saw my needless mental suffering I stopped. In that moment I befriended myself, needlessly suffering, lost in a life not my own. Grieved! That’s a baby-step Margee. That’s a little “let go,” a little peace! In those moments, when I see things for what they are and what they are doing, I pause, take a step back, breathe in the fresh air and rejoice. I’m spirited!

 

I’m learning that the "bananas" are what I think and feel will bring me predictability and certainty, that was what my religious faith was all about. God was supposed to make for predictability and certainty.

 

Letting go that distorted religious banana was no easy task, it represented comfort, hope, escape form responsibly, escape from knowing for myself what my experiences tell me about the nature of Reality --use whatever word that satisfies your understanding of the is-ness of life--God works for me, that is if you use it only one time a year and only to yourself. You know what I’m saying here! I read you last prayer.

 

When an old and comfortable concept of reality dies--when the old distortions of God died- a leave taking out of Eden began for me. Those old distortions were only that; distortions. When I realized that I was living a life based on someone else’s version of what my life was supposed to be about, that realization gave my pain, conflict and dislocation a meaning.

 

Because rather that being a victim I realize daily that the hero and heroine must descend through the dim winter light into the chaos and pain of living before they can spring into the luminous light of the ordinary with satisfaction and spirit. And live in the midst of the event of life catastrophe or calm The ordinary-ness --to use the words of Byron Katie; just “Loving What Is.” As a good friend of mine puts it “loving life for nothing.“ Maybe that is what it means to die in order to be reborn into the ordinary. The old thinking and out grown concepts must die before I can taste what satisfies my mind, my body and my spirit.

 

Life is a process of beginnings without end. Little “letting goes,” baby-steps. I’ve found that before I can even take the first step and “let go a little,” I first have to recognize the suffering that arises from my desire for certainty and predictability. Just seeing the suffering in the desire loosens its hold on me, whether it’s wanting to be included in a gathering of “successful” friends or clinging to the hope for a positive results from a blood test. Once I see the suffering in my mind and feel it in my body, I can begin to let go a little. As soon as I do that, I can get a taste of freedom (freedom is like authentic compassion it is not subject to burn out; the compass is pointing in the right direction here, do you get what I‘m saying?) that motivates me to let go a little more.

 

Ever played hid and seek? A friend hides something and when you go to find it they say “Your getting warm,” when your getting close to finding the treasure and “You’re getting cold, “ meaning you’re no where close discovery.

 

Our natural compass is akin to that game. When your close to the truth you’re peaceful--calm, even-tempered -- (whether that truth is one I wish I did not have to accept or experience and rather avoid). When I’m not at peace I experience compulsion, driven-ness, fatigue, monotony, chronic boredom, depression, despair, apathy, victim stance, illness, and wanting to do yourself in--suicide. My old standard refrains are “Why me?” “Why now?” They sober voice of reason, wisdom and freedom recants “Why Not? my beloved.”

 

Being intimate with my dark and luminous emotion, that is, realizing when they “come to visit” and what my physical reaction in relation to them are, is what I consider the natural sign post or the directions in which my compass points in regard my location to needless suffering (there is a difference between inescapable and needless suffering, know the difference is crucial).

 

I thought brave people have no fear. The truth is that brave people are brave because they are intimate with their fear.

 

 

saner

 

Saner - that was absolutely written from your heart and I take a moment to thank you for that response!

That was beautiful! What a hard thing 'letting go' is!! You said - ''my desire for certainty and predictability''. That would be me in a nutshell!

 

I am a total 'control freak' because of this! I am always trying to hang on to what is familiar. I despise change! I mean that! My salt and pepper shakers have been in the the same spot in my house for 14 years! I NEVER change furniture around in my house - EVER - unless I get a new piece, and then I'm all upset at where to put it! I am very rigid -I have been told this by friends. I do not like anyone just showing up at my door, etc...... so when I began to look at the bible and discover that I could have possibly been told a lie - well I started to fret more than I ever have in my life! What do you mean there is no bible god.......... :twitch: :twitch:

 

I will keep working on letting go of the banana!

 

Again, I thank you so much for this well written post to share your experiences with me. Very much appreciated!

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Some of us have had the hardest time 'letting go' once and for all, of the whole concept of God and especially Christianity.

 

Remember the story of the 'monkey trap'? Here it is if you haven't heard it before:

 

How do you trap a big monkey in a small cage the size of a banana? Easy! You place a banana inside the cage and leave an opening large enough for the monkey’s hand, but not for the banana. As soon as the monkey grabs the banana, it’s trapped. The monkey can set itself free if it lets go of the banana, but it won’t! By not giving up what it has in its hand, it locks itself just outside the tiny cage.

 

 

I hate those fuckin traps!!!

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I wish I had just been born an animal of the forest who 'runs' on instinct............................................

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