Do you know the best way to boil a frog?
I’ll get on to the frog in a minute, the point of tonight’s post is about those times in life when we don’t realise we’re stuck because we have got so use to our crap circumstances that we just think that’s the way life is. Things can’t change.
So, the story goes that if you put a frog in a pot of cold water and then put it on a stove and heat it slowly, the frog won’t notice. Our wee slimy friend will not make any attempt to escape and will eventually boil to death having not noticed until it was too late how much trouble he (or she) was in. (Please do not try this at home!)
This happens in life as well doesn’t it? You know, the pain simply creeps up on us, getting steadily worse and we simply don’t notice how bad its getting. It happens in relationships all the time. The arguments or snippy comments never cross a line into anything explosive or downright nasty that would set our alarms off. They just bubble away, slowly wearing you down but because its so gradual you accept it. You make excuses like ‘that’s just the way it is’ or ‘I know they love me, it’s just they don’t know how to show it’ because you have been conditioned to the pain. Nothing has ever happened to set off your ‘this is terrible i need to get out’ warning, it’s happened to gradually for that and you know you don’t like it, you just don’t exactly know what it is you don’t like.
Can I add here that in my experience of working with stuck people this can happen anywhere in life; jobs, relationships, friendships, business, everywhere. In fact I remember doing a workshop in a school once where it became apparent that 80% of the 16/17 year old kids in front of me were already there. Stuck with a lack of self belief, accepting that the geographic, economic and social situation they were born into meant they couldn’t aspire to anything more than mediocrity. Stuck, boiling alive, don’t realise it. And by the time they do, for many of them, it may be too late. Are you wiling to let that happen to you?
Ask yourself tonight where you have learned to simply accept pain because its been going on so long you think that’s the only way life can be. What and where do you believe you can’t change? Do you realise that an acceptance that you cannot change is the equivalent of being stuck? It’s a place of no choice, isn’t it? A place of painful certainty. That place, I promise, is not real. There is always, always choice.
The critical stage in regaining your power to choose is noticing. If you drop the frog in a pot of really hot water it will do what it can to escape, won’t it? If your relationship/work situation/friendship/life was like this right from the very start, what would you have done about it? Would you have changed it? Would you have accepted it? Or would you have done everything you could to change it?
Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?