A monkey wakes up with no food in the refrigerator, no food in the pantry, no McDonald’s on the way to work, and yet hungry. He comes across a jar with food in it and he sticks his hand in to retrieve the food, unwilling to let go because he knows not where else he might receive food from. It is his need, not his greed that keeps him holding on.
How many of you are monkeys with your hand in a jar? Holding on to that man, that job, that life so tightly because you don’t know where else you might get another one?
After a few sessions, I start to get real with my clients. We have established a relationship that allows me to speak a bit more candidly, and so when they exhibit cyclical behaviors or refuse to let go of something that hurts them, I tell them to read the quote on my table. It says:
“Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.” – Dr. Robert N. Anthony
And then I challenge them. You’ve told me that you want kindness, understanding, trust, and love in a relationship, yet you describe your boyfriend as mean-spirited, untrustworthy, cruel, and cold; what are you getting from this relationship? Quite simply you have food in your hand, but you are still starving, is it not more tortuous to feel it, smell it, know its there and STILL not have it, than to simply be without it? Either way, you’re not getting what you want, so tell me, what is the fear in letting go?
Often the response is a tearful, “I may not find it anywhere else,” to which I say a quiet, “But you don’t even have it now.” Then I sit back, and I wait.