Have you ever held on to something so tightly that it was almost the end of you? Held on with a death grip to something that you knew you needed to let go?
I once read a story about monkey traps filled with grains of rice. The traps were planted where monkeys would find them and stick their hands in the just-big-enough holes to grab the rice. But their clenched fist prevented them from being able to get their rice filled hands back OUT of the coconut. The stubborn (and hungry) monkey would refuse to let go of the rice and were caught by the trappers.
I dated this guy once—a commitment phobe in hindsight!—who never wanted to “get serious”. This meant he was never to be counted on. This meant don’t ask him to do too many things. This meant don’t expect him at special events. This meant he reserved the right to be a disappointing mess anytime he pleased. It was in the contract. Our 4 year contract. Gulp.
This, of course, caused me to grip those grains of rice like they were the last ones on earth. I spent time trying to be good enough, fun enough, pretty enough, cool enough for him to want to stick around. Turns out, there was no one good enough, fun enough, pretty enough or cool enough to make him stick around. Because he had damage HE needed to tend to. It had nothing to do with me.
I finally let go of that rice. And I don’t miss the struggle.
What is your rice?