Therapeutic Insight #20

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A wise teacher was taking a meditative walk along a rocky riverside one day when they recognized a student of theirs hiding away under a bushy tree, sobbing. Startled, the teacher slowly approached to offer some support. The student, clearly distraught, spoke softly to the teacher, expressing several worries and regrets. The teacher, thinking for a moment, stood up, walked away, grabbed a large stone from the shoreline, and returned with the stone. “Give me your hand,” the teacher requested as she placed the stone in the students hand. “What is the weight of this stone?” the teacher asked.

“Probably a pound or so?” the student confusingly guessed.

“Are you able to hold this stone in your hand?” the teacher asked.

“I believe so,” the student answered.

“What if I asked you to hold it for an hour?” She asked.

“That would be more difficult, but I think I could manage that.” the student responded.

“What if I asked you to hold it for a day?” She asked again.

The student, hesitating, responded “If I could, it would be with much discomfort.”

The teacher continued, “So it is with many of our worries and regrets. Think about them for a moment and they are manageable. Think about them for a day and their weight increases, much like the stone in your hand. Remember to put the stone down.”

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