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In mine and my friend’s book ‘The Inner Fix,’ we share one of the most life-changing parables I’ve ever heard.
(And as a former regular church-goer, I’ve heard a lot).
I first came across it back in 2012, when my heart was broken and I’d do just about anything to make it hurt a bit less.
The lesson from this parable did the trick, because it showed me how to pull myself out of the dark hole I was in.
And it showed me how to prepare myself for the kind of love that wouldn’t break me.
The parable describes how natives used to hunt monkeys in Indonesia.
There are several different versions of the tale, but essentially, the message is always the same:
The key was to let the monkey catch herself.
The hunter would take a coconut and cut a small hole in the top of it, just big enough for a monkey to squeeze her little hand into.
Then he would scoop out all the coconut meat from inside, and drop a pebble into the hole at the top.
The hunter would place the coconut on the ground, and take cover in some nearby foliage, where he’d wait for an unsuspecting monkey to wander in to the trap.
The monkey would appear, pick up the coconut, shake it, and hear the pebble rattling around inside.
She’d peer into the hole:
“I want that pebble,” the monkey would think.
Then, as predicted, she’d squeeze her little hand in to the hole and close her fist around the pebble.
Now, the hunter knew that the monkey would never be able to get her hand out of the small hole as long as she was clutching on to the pebble.
And, even when the hunter came out to capture and kill the monkey - who couldn’t escape up a tree as long as she had the coconut stuck to her hand - it would never occur to the monkey that all she had to do to liberate herself, was to simply let go of her pebble.
When my love life was at its most chaotic, I was totally blind to the fact that I was actually choosing to stay stuck and trapped.
I believe we all have our own version of that pebble that we cling on to in our romantic lives – simply because it feels attractive, familiar – or like the safer option to us in the moment.
But, the truth is, clutching on to that pebble will inevitably cause us huge problems over time.
So, what does that pebble represent for you?
Is it your fear of intimacy and commitment (like it was for me)?
Is it emotionally unavailable lovers who blow hot and cold with you?
Is it your addiction to dating apps?
Is it holding on to a relationship that’s not working, because you’re afraid of being on your own?
Take it from me:
Answering this question is one of the most important things you’ll ever do for your love life.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
If you’re feeling really brave, I’d love you to tell me below what the pebble represents for you.
Remember, awareness of what isn’t working is the first step towards getting what we really want :)