“A trap had been set to stop a monkey from stealing fruit. The monkey reached into the trap to get a piece a fruit and got stuck. All it had to do was drop the fruit and it would be released, but the monkey wouldn’t let it go.”
I have a Rat Terrier mix, not the most beautiful little lady in the world but she makes-up for her homely looks by being very affectionate, needy and extremely energetic. As her breed name implies, the “Rat Terrier was originally bred for ratting and farm work, capable of hunting rodents and vermin above and below ground.” Now I don’t live on a farm and rats are non-existent in my little piece of suburbia, but squirrels and chipmunks that is another story.
I live in an older subdivision filled with old oaks and poplars. In my yard alone I have 12 stately oaks that I love in the spring and summer but cuss about in the fall. These beautiful trees are not only filled with acorns and leaves but with squirrels as well. My Rat Terrier spends all day, everyday, with just four things on her daily to-do list, #1-eat, #2-poop, #3-bug the hell out of her big brother a Rhodesian Ridgeback and #4-kill a chipmunk or a squirrel.
Make no mistake, when she is not begging for someone to rub her tummy this little ugly lady is a cold-blooded killer. Squirrels hate her and chipmunks fear her. She will dig a hole to China to catch a chipmunk and sit under a tree for hours waiting for a squirrel to make a wrong move. She can not, will not, let it go.
We have a massive oak in the middle of our backyard with no other trees within squirrel jumping distance from it. Rat Terrier knows that when one of those grey yard rats goes up that tree their only escape is to come back down. One Saturday she chased a squirrel up the big tree and then spent the next four hours patrolling the bottom like a shark, waiting for it to make a move.
Sadly, or happily depending on your perspective, the day didn’t end well for the squirrel. It attempted a suicide leap from the tree to my tool shed, missed, and the Rat Terrier was there waiting. As she does with all of her trophy’s, she placed the carcass at the backdoor guarding it ferociously from the dumb as a bag of rocks Rhodesian Ridgeback who loves nothing more than rolling on a dead, stinky animal. She just can’t let it go.
I did a little review last night of some of the things I just couldn’t let go of. The list included some stupid stuff I had done in the past, and a few people. Bob Stoops, the former head football coach of the Oklahoma Sooners shared these words of wisdom to his replacement after he lost a big game recently; “Don’t hold on to it and let it beat you again. If you keep hanging on to something, you’ve got an opportunity to keep getting hurt by it.”
Why is it easier to relive our past failures, and let them keep us awake at night or hold grudges against people who probably don’t even know we are pissed at them? Why can’t we forgive ourselves, or forgive other people? I have been guilty of letting my past direct my present and if you think about it that is not a position of strengthen or as Mahatma Gandhi stated “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
There are just some things in our past that we will never correct. My mother’s father died when she was two years old and her mother gave her and her brother to their grandmother to raise. It was not a good situation. But my mother decided many years ago to move beyond it. What good would it do her to harbor ill will against her mother or grandmother? A relationship was and is only possible when both sides agree to be in one. In the end she realized the only person she would ultimately be hurting was herself. My mother is a warrior and continues to be a shinning example of strength for her family today.
What can’t we let shit go? What is holding us back? In three days the calendar will flip to 2018. Rather than pledging to lose ten pounds as your number one goal for the new year move letting go, forgiving yourself, and forgiving others to the top of the list. Start with you because if you can’t love yourself, warts and all it makes it very difficult to receive and appreciate the love of others.
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh