Letting Go of Fear

Once there was an octopus she would wrap her tentacles around firm, solid rocks to feel secure and comfortable. As she grew, the octopus ventured further out, exploring deeper water. One day the large hull of a ship came along and cast its gloomy shadow over the water. This enormous vessel dropped its strong, sturdy anchor from its bow.

The octopus clung to this anchor as it plunged down. As it sank, the waters grew darker and colder. The octopus could feel the pressure of the water pushing down on her with immense tension, squeezing her apart. She grasped tighter and tighter in her fright with fear from the increasing uncertainty of what would happen next. The terrified octopus cried out with panic and despair. Then a small jellyfish emerged saying, “I can help you, but you need to do something first. First you must let go of the anchor and then I will show you the way out.”

The octopus did not know what to do, was this a trap she thought, for surely she was vulnerable enough that anyone could be trying to take advantage of her prone position of weakness. What would happen once she did let go, perhaps she wouldn’t survive, she had heard of other creatures that had swan deep to the sea floor but never returned.

The octopus was overwhelmed as if she were stuck in a tunnel, not sure how to go back or move ahead, like coming out of a movie theater the light may hurt when we first see it, but in her core she knew what she had to do. Slowly at first, then all at once the octopus let go.

She followed the jellyfish and began to feel a sense of excitement and joyous adventure, stronger and more competent with each stroke, until she was swimming ahead to the jellyfish and heard the creature say, “from here you are ready to go on by yourself.” The octopus continued to swim to the surface and onwards to new destinations, across the vast ocean, seeking new experiences, going with the gentle currents and floating with the soothing tide.

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What stops you from ‘letting go’?

* the author is unknown and the story is considered public domain

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Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

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