How to Recover When Recovery Seems Impossible




Life is cyclic. Sooner or later you will (or probably have) been staring into the abyss of losing everything. Or of an overwhelming significant life changing event. You feel like there is no way out, that recovering from this is impossible. But indeed, it is not.

An old story comes to mind of a monkey and an orange. The orange is inside a long, cylindrical vase. The top is just wide enough for the monkey to see the orange, and to shove his hand into.

The monkey desperately wants the orange. He can smell the citrus aroma. He can imagine peeling it and savoring the delicious orange in his mouth.


It’s His For The Taking

The monkey thrusts his hand and arm deep into the vase, grabbing the orange. He closes his fist around the orange and yanks his arm up through the vase neck. He gets all the way to his fist and is stopped. His fist, holding the orange is too big to fit through the opening of the vase!

He yanks and yanks and yanks, each time the top of the neck stops his hand before he can remove it with the orange. The monkey drops the orange in frustration. Not to be defeated the monkey goes back to attempting to yank the orange out. Again, and again he’s stopped.


We Are Not Meant to Struggle

Finally in utter frustration, he smacks the vase with his hand sending it rolling over onto the ground. As the vase comes to a stop, the orange rolls out of the vase and onto the ground.

The monkey can now enjoy the orange by simply accepting it. The orange he fought so hard to force out of the vase is free.


What if You Just Let Go?

What are you trying desperately to hold onto that might be better enjoyed, or tolerated if you’ll just let it go?

Dr. Joe Vitale tells of a counseling session wherein a couple was about to lose their house, didn’t know what to do and came to him for help. He posed the question to them, what would happen if you did lose the house?

He had them write down all the bad results from losing the house.

Then he had them write down all the benefits that would come from losing that house. The change in amount of living expenses. The change to a lesser commute time for both. And the re-prioritization of their assets.


The True Direction Will Usually Surprise You

When it was all tallied up, losing the house, albeit not ideal, actually possessed more benefits that the negatives losing the house presented.

It was kind of like Jonah being spit out of the whale. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but it worked!

We will all be faced with tough, daunting, almost overwhelming decisions in our lives. Our ability to cut through the emotion, the chatter and the well-intended advice will be the key to making a great, but tough decision.

You can do it. Take a deep breath, weigh all your options; and before putting your plan into action, consider letting go. Of it all, if necessary.



I explore other ways to recovery from life’s debilitating events in my book 50 Ways to Remain Standing in a World Trying to Mow You Over available on Amazon.