Have you ever read the children’s book “Who Sank the Boat” by Pamela Allen? The basic gist of this book is that five animals decide to go for a row: A cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig and a little tiny mouse. The question throughout is “WHO SANK THE BOAT?”
First the cow hops in the boat. Although the boat gets heavier and goes lower in the water, the cow does not sink the boat. Then the donkey, pig and sheep all hop in separately, each making the boat heavier and lower in the water, but still it does not sink. The last to hop in is “the little tiny mouse” and it’s this mouse that causes the boat to sink … or was it? As the book illustrates, it is actually the combination of all animals that causes the boat to sink. The mouse is just “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
At Fabic, we use this story to help people understand their behaviour. For all people we have “life”. Within “life” there are situations presented to everyone that we all find difficult, uncomfortable or challenging in our own unique way. Life sometimes presents big challenges and sometimes quite small challenges.
- We may have a disagreement with the shop keeper
- Find our work, school task or current activity difficult or not enjoyable
- Someone says something unloving to us
- We make a mistake
- People hurt us
- We have an argument with a loved one
- Our toys or favourite items get broken
- We lose someone we care about
The list of examples is endless and can simply be defined as “anything in life we find uncomfortable … anything in life we react to … any smashed picture”.
The reality is, with each of these events our body is registering that “something does not feel right”. Frequently, we do not want to register this feeling so we tend to “ignore and bury how we feel”. When we choose not to feel all that is in our body we tend to “drink a cup of concrete”, We partake in activity or consume something in our body that, if given a choice, our body would say, “no thank you” to.
Ponder on this:
If we honour what we truly are – innately and essentially very sensitive and beauty-full, and acknowledge this, we will live accordingly.
This will produce a natural will to self care and nurture deeply in honour of what is in essence already there. If we ignore our true essence we will have to bury it with all that we are not. Thus, self-abuse overtakes the self-care and the nurturing that are otherwise naturally there.
Is it possible that all self-harm (anything our body would say “no” to if given a choice), however minor or intense, is simply our way of “drinking concrete”, our way of saying “I don’t want to feel the discomforts of life, I don’t want to acknowledge how sensitive I truly am”.
Can you imagine what is happening in our bodies as we continue to drink concrete and our bodies become harder and fuller of our hurts we absorb from life?
Is it any wonder we have so much depression, anxiety, behavioural challenges, mental health concerns and people not living as joyfully as they would otherwise like to?
As the picture illustrates, would it be possible to begin using a different option, OPTION 1 and begin to honour our self by:
- Acknowledging how we truly feel about all that happens in life. Acknowledge our smashed pictures. Acknowledge how sensitive we truly are and that yes, “sometimes life hurts”
- Be honest and feel what we are truly feeling
- Release what is there to be felt
- Let it go with no attachment to it needing to be different
- Emptying our body of our hurts and allowing our body to be softer and truer to what it really is
- Honouring who we truly are
- Living in a way that will support our children to live in a way that is true to their natural sensitive and beauty-full nature.
This article was originally published in the December 2013 Edition of Haven Magazine.