Gripping Too Hard

by Ray Reuter on October 24, 2013

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWhen I set my focus on something, and work really hard and intentionally on that something, it is natural to get quite attached to a particular outcome. I imagine it and envision it becoming real. That vision motivates me to keep working hard, to keep pushing, to continue to sacrifice. And if I am not careful, that outcome and “my plan” to achieve that outcome literally becomes an idol. Maybe you can relate?!

This recently happened to me — I was overly focused on a particular outcome. I worked extremely hard, invested time and money, covered all the bases, left nothing to chance … and by golly the outcome did not match my vision! What?!! How is that possible?! I did everything I could to achieve a desired result … and it was not what I expected or anticipated. I was caught off guard, knocked off balance, and quite dejected.

This happened early in the morning, and as I processed the outcome and most importantly my thoughts and feelings, I realized that I was overly attached to “my” desire. My attachment was “disordered.” I was not “indifferent” — I wanted it MY WAY!

It reminded me of the tale that is often shared about how to catch a monkey. You put a small hole in a gourd or coconut and place a piece of fruit or treat (i.e., a desired object) inside. The monkey can easily reach inside the gourd and grab the fruit. However, because the monkey is gripping the fruit and will NOT let it go, the monkey is unable to remove his hand / fist through the small hole and is thus “trapped.” The monkey’s unwillingness to let go of the desire results in an unfavorable outcome.

Like the monkey, I examined myself and found that I was gripping too hard to an outcome and that trapped me into thinking I was not good enough, I had failed, I did not do enough, etc. Frankly, all lies.

The lesson / takeaway for me — and I believe many others — is to strive to do our very best, focus on a desired outcome, AND at the same time not become too attached to the result. Leave some room for God.

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