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Don't lunge at the gerbil!

Old 11-30-2018, 02:24 AM
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Don't lunge at the gerbil!

Read this today in "language of letting go" by Melody Beattie.

Really hit home when trying to detach from someone.

One day, my son brought a gerbil home to live with us. We put it in a cage. Some time later, the gerbil escaped. For the next six months, the animal ran frightened and wild through the house. So did we chasing it

"There it is. Get it!" we'd scream, each time someone spotted the gerbil. I, or my son, would throw down whatever we were working on, race across the house, and lunge at the animal hoping to catch it.

I worried about it, even when we didn't see it. "This isn't right," I'd think. "I can't have a gerbil running loose in the house. We've got to catch it. We've got to do something."

A small animal, the size of a mouse had the entire household in a tizzy.

One day, while sitting in the living room, I watched the animal scurry across the hallway. In a frenzy, I started to lunge at it, as I usually did, then I stopped myself.

No, I said. I'm all done. If that animal wants to live in the nooks and crannies of this house, I'm going to let it. I'm done worrying about it. I'm done chasing it. It's an irregular circumstance, but that's just the way it's going to have to be.

I let the gerbil run past without reacting. I felt slightly uncomfortable with my new reaction not reacting but I stuck to it anyway.

I got more comfortable with my new reaction not reacting. Before long, I became downright peaceful with the situation. I had stopped fighting the gerbil. One afternoon, only weeks after I started practicing my new attitude, the gerbil ran by me, as it had so many times, and I barely glanced at it. The animal stopped in its tracks, turned around, and looked at me. I started to lunge at it. It started to run away. I relaxed.

"Fine," I said. "Do what you want." And I meant it.

One hour later, the gerbil came and stood by me, and waited. I gently picked it up and placed it in its cage, where it has lived happily ever since. The moral of the story? Don't lunge at the gerbil. He's already frightened, and chasing him just scares him more and makes us crazy.

Detachment works.


Really loved this part......
He's already frightened, and chasing him just scares him more and makes us crazy.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:36 AM
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good post GJ

detachment leads, for me- to acceptance and hopefully letting go
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by PhoenixJ View Post
good post GJ

detachment leads, for me- to acceptance and hopefully letting go
Me too hopefully in time.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:56 AM
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I'm printing this out!
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:14 AM
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Glenjo, I remember well my first trip through "Language of Letting Go" and how much I enjoyed (and related to) that same reading!

Thanks for the reminder, and for a good laugh on a day where I needed one!
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:00 PM
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Nice to re read this tonight, might be helpful analogy to share again.
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