“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
~Henry David Thoreau.
It never made sense why an elephant in captivity was solely tied to a post by a rope around one leg—that is, until I learned its psychology
I am sure you know when an elephant is born in captivity the owner ties the 250-pound baby to a post with a thick chain to prevent it from escaping. During the first few weeks of its life, the baby elephant relentlessly tests the chain that binds him, but is no match for the steel links. All the elephant wants to do is wander and explore as his nature demands. Over the course of time, the elephant learns that, no matter how hard he tries, he is not strong enough to free himself. He eventually gives up, destined to a life of confinement.
Curiously, when the elephant reaches adulthood, he can be tethered with the thinnest of ropes, or no rope at all, and makes no effort to escape. Although he can easily break free, experience conditioned the elephant to BELIEVE he does not possess the POWER to break the chain. The elephant does not realize he can easily uproot a tree because he learned early in life that strength and freedom were unavailable to him. For the rest of the elephant’s life, he is unaware of the powerful creature he is.
HOW ARE WE OFTEN LIKE THAT ELEPHANT SHACKLED BY THE BELIEFS WE ACQUIRED DURING OUR YOUTH?
HOW DO WE LET OUR CONDITIONING FREQUENTLY STOP US FROM BECOMING THE PERSON WE ARE MEANT TO BE?
It is so easy to be influenced by these ideas, sensing we are no match for the situations or circumstances to which our parents, teachers, or other authority figures exposed us as children. After all, they were older and wiser. We looked up to them, seeking their love or approval. Many of us, even to this day, revert to our childhood emotions (anger, fear, shame, guilt) or feelings of insecurity or unworthiness when a particular incident unwittingly reminds us of an experience we lived long ago.
IT’S TIME FOR US TO BREAK FREE, TO WANDER, TO EXPLORE.
IT’S TIME TO REMOVE THE SHACKLES.
But, how? How can we when this conditioning is so deep within us?—by opening our hearts to LISTEN.
If we become aware of our emotions, of the sensations we are feeling, it is not necessary to uncover the event or events that produced our ingrained beliefs. All we have to do is become still and face ourselves honestly.
An incident may come to mind about which we had forgotten but which was a pivotal moment in our life. Feel the emotions you are sensing as you recall the experience. It came to mind for a reason. As you survey the sequence of events, ask yourself:
What purpose did that incident serve?
What lesson did it teach?
In doing so, you can reclaim your power by viewing it from a different vantage point, as an observer.
Those experiences usually represent incidents that caused us to withdraw spiritually. More often than not, we conformed to the behavior or expectations that our parents, teachers, society, or other authority figures deemed appropriate. We relinquished a portion of our identity, no, our SPIRIT.
To become whole, we must embrace our worth by minding our emotions for these are our internal compass. If we desire to know the truth about ourselves, there is where we must look.
We need to stop being like the elephant, who has been so conditioned to live a mundane existence that he does not recognize his power and glory. It’s time to remove the shackles of fear, blame, and self-pity.
“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself, or treat what has happened to you as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing.
You get to choose.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer
All we need is within us. Our higher self and our soul are waiting to offer guidance. We need only ask.
Claim your voice. Belt out your song. Don’t deprive the world of your light. Shine brightly.
Your time is now.