Once upon a time there was a farmer who had an old mule. The mule fell into a deep dry well and began to cry loudly. Hearing his mule cry, the farmer came over and assessed the situation. The well was deep and the mule was heavy. He knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the animal out.
Because the mule was old and the well was dry, the farmer decided to bury the animal in the well. In this way he could solve two problems: put the old mule out of his misery and have his well filled.
He called upon his neighbors to help him and they agreed to help. To work they went. Shovel full of dirt after shovel full of dirt began to fall on the mule’s back. He became hysterical. Then all of a sudden an idea came to the mule. Each time they would throw a shovel full of dirt on his back he could shake it off and step up. Shovel full after shovel full, the mule would shake it off and step up. Now exhausted and dirty, but quite alive, the mule stepped over the top of the well and walked through the crowd.
A great attitude. A great way to approach life. Shake it off and step up. Too often we hold on to what has happened to us.
We hold on to it for a week, a month, even years. We cannot shake it loose from our memory. It eats away at us and steals our joy, happiness and peace of mind. The past hurt can create feelings of bitterness, resentment, anger and revenge.
We keep allowing these emotions to be thrown on our backs and if we do nothing, we will be buried deep in the well. Walls will be built in our relationships. We will avoid each other and the cold war begins.
But, we have a choice: keep it inside and embrace the hurt or shake it off and step up. Give it a try. Shake it off and step up. Words that have been said or actions that have been done, shake it off and step up. Let it go. Whatever it is: a rude comment, a past mistake, being ignored, we can stew over it all week. It occupies us all the time.
Too often we nurse hurts, we keep them alive inside and go over them time and time again; not only stewing from them, but now chewing them over and over until it gets us sick. Too often we rehearse hurts, tell everyone what has happened to us.
The cure is to accept what has happened, try to make sense out of it, learn from it, then shake it off and step up. When you let it go you feel free and you are no longer buried in the well. Once you are on your feet again you can take some action. You decide where you want to grow in life, the direction you want your life to take. You decide whether you will allow the hurt to make you a bitter or a better person. Learn from it. Emerge stronger.
THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity…THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US!
this is the kind of thing we need to be teaching our children......and yes...learning ourselves. Thank you for the lesson and the reminder Dalubaba. I always look forward to your posts. Your gurubai.......omhome
I really enjoyed the mule story entitled " Shake it Off and Step Up" and your follow up comments. The mule refused to be buried alive, a very
good thing. As I was reading your comments, I found myself nodding in
agreement with your post. The mule can represent anyone because
everyone gets "dirt" dumped on them many times in their life time.
If the dirt can represent problems dumped on us, illnesses we didn't
choose to get etc., then the trick truly is the shake the dirt off.
I had a very difficult separation and eventual divorce in the nineteen
nineties, was subjected to car accident in which I was rear ended twice
within 3 years both times sustaining whiplash, a breast cancer scare
about 10 years ago and a few more major things in my life I went through.
For many years I did hold onto that anger, resentment and bitterness.
I would replay conversations I had with my ex husband. I would feel
like why me when it came to the two car accidents and the terror I
felt when I thought I had breast cancer. What I finally realized one day
is that holding onto this anger and resentment had probably contributed
to my depression and nervous breakdown I had over 10 years ago now.
Anger turned inside often leads to depression and feelings of hopelessness. It took going through a depression and recovering from a
depression which also included group therapy which helped me realize
this. I also came to the conclusion that the past is just that - the past.
That there was nothing I could do to change the past. By reliving the past
almost every day, it was like I was stuck in the past and not living in the
present and enjoying the present. So these days, I count my blessings
and what's good and positive in my life which of course includes my family
and friends. So I agree with you, dalubaba when you say " the cure is to
accept what has happened, try to make sense out of it, learn from it, then shake it off and step up. " Like you say, " when you let it go, you feel free and you are no longer buried in the well." You're right. "You learn from your
past experiences and emerge stronger." One of my dad's favorite expressions used to be " could be worse." and he's right. Every time I may
start now and again to feel sorry for myself, I remind myself how blessed
I am to have such wonderful and supportive family and friends in my life,
that I've come a long way in terms of my emotional health and my resolve to enjoy whatever each day may bring. I'm also reminded of this expression
" we're all in this together".and we truly are here to help and support each
other on this lovely planet we call mother earth. Blessings, Eve
It is a lovely planet Eve and thank you for sharing your story-----and i have a question that came up for me and i think it might be fun to discuss together.
I am wondering what would have happened if the mule stuck to the stereotype of "Stubborn".....and just stood there? And what if he/she kept saying oh well "it could be worse"....? Rather than considering that "it could be better" (better meaning i could get out of this well.) Oh my poor mind: and what if this guy with a shovel at the top keeps yelling down at the mule "hey---it's ok---we're all in this together!"
I do have a wicked sense of humor!
"All in this together" reminds me of lone ranger and tonto. They are surrounded by the whole tribe of Indians and the lone ranger says to tonto :"looks like we are done for now!" And Tonto says "What do you mean We white man!?"
I appreciate that you read my story. You do have a wicked sense of
humor, but I think I see your point and it's a good one. I also like
your reference to lone ranger and tonto. It's a goodun.
I leave you with this one. The mule he weren't no fool. I like to rhyme
words. Cheers, Eve :)
I understand whenever any anecdote is mentioned, it is to prove certain point. Once the point is made, the story ends.One cannot go on and on analyzing about aspects which have no relevance to the there of the story. In this story mule could have opted for other theme"could be worse". His master was cruel and there was no sense in continuing this arched life and would have braved all dirt and died bravely.In fact could be worse is also a good principle. It may appear negative, but results are positive.
I , untrained, novice, a mediocre joined as a medical representative.I was afraid to meet doctors and talk about my products.After a lot of thinking, I develop my understanding about the problem. The worst doctor can do is may not allow me in his clinic, or he may not hear me properly or he may kick me out,these are all acceptable to me so why worry. I continued my work with this theme in my mind.I worked with my company for 37 years as employe and 10 yrs as consultant.So It is obvious that negative thing is positive if it brings positive result.It is similar to lemon which is acidic but when it goes in stomach it make the stomach alkaline. That is why lemon is recommended in acidity.
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