The concept of having a "monkey on our back" isn't just contained within the parameters of addiction...it can be used to describe any state of mind or issue that offers the same debilitating, growth-stunting or crippling dynamic. While one person's monkey may be a true substance addiction that disables them from reaching their potential quality of life, some of us have a monkey unrelated to addiction that has just as comprehensive an impact on us, if not more so. It might be a person, a way of thinking, a habit, a fear...it may be a haunting past, a daunting future, a twisted self-image. Regardless of what plagues us, poisons us or siphons away our resources, we can pry that monkey off... if we can recognize it.
This part isn't always easy...it takes some work. If we were shooting up heroin every day, for example, that'd be an obvious monkey that steals our present and future from us, making us shadows of ourselves. When a monkey isn't as easy to identify, we must investigate...pull out our flashlights and begin an expedition toward recognizing the culprit that is tapping our well. This journey of self-discovery is made within the depths of our own mind, body and spirit...conscious and subconscious. It involves the tough questions.
Imagine the feeling of having a monkey on your back, literally. Everywhere you go, at all times. When you sleep, eat, make love...it is ever-present. Now that you have imagined that...what in your life makes you feel that way? What drags you down and makes you heavier, what keeps you from doing what you want to do because it gets in the way, what do you feel as though you cannot get away from? What places do you avoid going...things you avoid doing because you are afraid someone will see your monkey? What do you wish you could just throw a stiff elbow into and hurl wildly off your back into a tumbling wake? If you can identify your monkey...if you can pin point the source of the drag...you can rid your self of it once and for all. Do the work...life can be different.
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