It is helpful to realize that most of the problems we are fretting about are bound to us by the hold we have upon them. The story is told of an expedition of scientists who were on a mission to capture a particular species of monkeys in the jungles of Africa. It was important that the monkeys be brought back alive and unharmed.
Using their knowledge of monkey ways, the scientists devised a trap consisting of a small jar with a long, narrow neck. Into the jar was placed a handful of nuts. Several of these jars were staked out, while the scientists returned to their camp, confident of catching the monkeys.
Scenting the nuts in the bottle, a monkey would thrust his paw into the long neck and take a fistful of nuts. But when he tried to withdraw the prize, he discovered that his clenched fist would not pass through the narrow neck of the bottle. So, he was trapped in the anchored bottle, unable to escape with his booty, and yet unwilling to let it go. When the scientists returned, they easily took the monkeys captive.
We may smile at the monkeys, thinking how foolish they were, but in some respects we are just like them. We cling to the very things that hold us back, remaining captive through sheer unwillingness to let go.
We feel we have been unjustly treated in our work or by some friend or associate. Often someone will say, “I will never forget this as long as I live.” Thus he holds on to the handful of nuts and is trapped, spending the rest of his days complaining about being tied to a bottle, but unwilling to let go.
source: Eric Butterworth
Unity of All Life
DeVorss & Co.