A very known legend of the ‘Elephant and the Rope’ has a perspective all of us have failed to understand. My very own Sandhya Soundararajan has something beautiful to share in the pursuit of taking care of ourselves. Do leave your comments and feedback and let us both know if this has helped you in any way.
A man passed by a herd of elephants and noticed that all of them were tied with a thin rope which was likely to be ripped in a second if the elephants tried to move away. Confused at this sight, he asked the trainer and caretaker about it. The trainer replied, when the elephants are young, they used the same rope to tie them to the poles which were enough to hold them at a young age. As they grow up they are conditioned to believe that they cannot break away from it, though their might is mightier than this tiny rope.
How true is that for us?
Don’t we think we are too caught up in the belief of being unworthy or not able enough to do something we desire or to be something we wish to? Have you stopped trying?
I remember 2 years back when I was teaching, the children wanted to draw an airplane for a game we were planning. There was a child for whom drawing was an enjoyable and easy task because of his practice and an immediate reflection of his genes. The other student who was learning too but enjoyed drawing felt dissatisfied with his airplane because it didn’t look as good the other child’s. He said “Ma’am I don’t want to draw anymore. I’m not good at it.” I just asked him to try until it is what he wants to be. After 5-6 times he got it right and was overjoyed. The next time he did anything he’d keep telling himself it’s okay I’ll keep attempting. Let me see if it works or not.
And that’s when it struck me that I had stopped myself from attempting to draw because my sister was great at it and I felt like mine wasn’t good enough. I thought my neckless people were terrible drawings which now I find adorable. But then I thought why don’t I I try myself. I did. Everyday whatever I could. I gave them self-drawn pictures of their favorite animal as rewards and I was able to as well to my satisfaction, 10-12 years after I stopped doing it for the joy of it.
My point is that you are a memory bag of all the ancestral genes put together. Right from the goosebumps, you get to having widows peak on your forehead your genes are playing a role. And if a particular gene is dominant, you showcase that particular trait. But there is also something called environmental influence which can alter your genes. Your lifestyle choices over a period of time are being engraved in your genes and can pass on to your children.
When you attempt to do something, you are attempting to form new neural pathways and altering the effect of a gene if that behavior is prolonged.
Often when people tell me they have no talents and they aren’t good at music, drama, arts or sports I’m bothered by the thought of confining themselves to these alone. How are you deciding whether you are talented or not based on these alone? It is anything you enjoy doing and does it to the best of your abilities. Even if you want to perform these, what stopped you from doing? If you enjoyed it, did you try it enough times to come to a conclusion? First few attempts may be scary. No wonder. Your conditioning needs to be battled down right. The fear and insecurities will pop up.
But have you stopped yourself from experiencing that joy?
Is it about excellence or enjoying?
And are you going to battle with me on whether you can do something or not? Trust me, I’ll talk you out on it. So please don’t attempt to.
The truth about myself- I have had my fears and insecurities about a lot of things I liked. I have overcome some and still have things I wish to overcome. I’m on the same boat as well but knowing it is possible and doing it for myself because I find joy in it, is very satisfying and empowering.
You are far deeper than your conditioning. Conditioning is just a veil, it’s not even you. It’s time to unveil it and find yourself. And the legend of the elephant and the rope is just another example.
How about instead of attempting to be something, we attempt to meet ourselves in every moment, in situations and people both old and new, and see how we react? One step at a time.