What Is Keeping Us Tied Down?
A couple of Sundays ago, I attended church and had the opportunity to listen to wonderful inspiring messages. One in particular resonated with me. Elder Patrick Kearon, from the Presidency of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, spoke of our resilience as human beings. He reminded us that we are eternal beings having this short mortal experience.
This started me thinking that we did approve of this mortal experience even before this Earth was created. The scriptures tell us we shouted for joy at the opportunity we were being offered. We knew then that we would face trials and hard challenges, yet we felt equal to the task.
Now, in mortality, with a veil covering our previous spiritual sapience, we find ourselves many times questioning the purpose, the fairness, the meaning of some unbearable challenges we are called to endure. We all go through trials, some more than others. Some of those trials are indeed unbearable for many.
Elder Kearon also illustrated that we as imperfect beings make those challenges harder to bear by our attitude and perspective. He shared a story about Brazilian monkeys who love fruit, especially bananas, and descend into town to eat the harvest of the Brazilian people. The farmers have designed an infallible trap. They hollow a melon and let it dry making a small hole on the side, barely big enough for the tiny hand of the monkey to go through. Then, they place the cherished banana inside and wait for the monkey to sniff it. Soon enough, the monkey introduces his tiny paw, grabs the banana and it is stuck.
All he needs to do is to release the banana and set himself free, but fiercely the little monkey refuses to do just that, apparently finding the prized fruit too precious to save his own life.
After Elder Kearon’s talk I have asked myself what are some of the things which are keeping me down? What bad habits are preventing me from finding joy and freedom?
Today, I ask what is keeping you and I tied down? Is it old resentments? Old fears? Old memories that although hurtful, we hold on to, even though we understand we need to be free?
As a Chinese doctor, I know the importance of emotions, both positive as well as negative, to our overall wellness. I have struggled to heal some patients who ache all over and can hardly bear the lightest touch as I palpate their meridians because of long harbored negative feelings which are making them physically ill.
When I identify those emotions and together, the patient and I, discover the origin in long ago sad challenges they have faced before, I have found it puzzling how many resist my invitation to just let go. Their need to hold on to those memories, however painful, is far greater than their need to be free of pain.
Is it that hard? I think it is. We find sometimes satisfaction, however toxic, on holding to our own bananas, our own hurtful behaviors, pernicious thoughts, bad habits, painful memories, because we do not understand that the alternative is so much better. The power to choose is ours. And our choices shape our destiny.
So, as hard as it is, it is also just as easy. Change the channel, change the volume, tune down the voices which speak evil and keep you down. Let go of the self-destructive behavior which is tying you down. Make positivity your mantra. Believe in your greatness. After all, we were created in the image of Deity. We all have the Power!
We may not be able to change some of the challenges we will be asked to face, but we can all change the way we face them.
Do we do it with confidence in our power to survive them, or do we face them with resentment, mistrust, and lack of conviction in the divinity within us? Self-confidence and trust in He Who created us will always buoy us up, without those two intrinsic things we will plummet like a rock.
This is just my opinion...
As a single woman, a Mormon, and a western/ Chinese doctor.
Angela Lee Duckworth, a teacher turned psychologist, gav