Most of us have heard the fable about the Scorpion and the Frog but I think the meaning behind it is deeper than the fable would have us believe.
If you’re unfamiliar with the tale it goes like this: A scorpion needs to cross the river but he can’t swim.
He can see that nearby, a frog is getting ready to make the same journey, so he asks the frog if he might trouble him for a lift across the river.
The frog immediately says “no,” reasoning that if he gives the scorpion a ride, the scorpion will sting him and then he’ll drown. The scorpion artfully aruges: “No, if I sting you then you will drown and we’ll both die.” The frog, who’s gut instinct was not to give the scorpion a ride, falls for the logic behind the scorpion’s argument.
The scorpion climbs on the back of the frog and wouldn’t you know that when they get about half way across the river, the scorpion stings the frog! Right before the frog goes under he asks the scorpion why he did it. The scorpion replies: “Because it’s my nature.”
Fables usually have a moral to the story and here it’s unquestionable that “beings” will do what’s in their nature to do no matter what, and those “beings” include humans. On some level, that probably rings true but at the same time also seems like an oversimplification. You cannot really apply the instincts of an arachnid to that of a human being.
What I take away from that fable is this: The frog has no control over what the scorpion does whether it’s his nature to sting him or accept a ride on its back and be grateful for the frog’s hospitality. The only nature that the frog should be concerned about is his own. That is just as true for human beings as it is for amphibians and arachnids alike. Believe it or not, understanding this fable put me on a clear path to healing after my divorce and re-discovering my self-worth.
The Only One You Have Control Over Is You!
I cannot even begin to describe how liberating it is to finally realize that I have absolutely no power or control over what other people do. The only thing I have any control over is my own actions and reactions. Despite what many would have you believe, you cannot change a person’s course of action by the way you act. Giving in to that reality and fully embracing it, stopped me in my tracks from trying to figure out how I could’ve kept my ex from cheating. Only he had the power to do that.
If that’s what he was going to do, then that’s what he was going to do. That is not the same as saying it was the only thing he could do because it was in his nature. What I am conceding to, however, is that I had no power over his choice to cheat. And once I stopped focusing on the how and why of his actions, I could finally focus on myself and what I did have control over; like listening to my gut.
Like the frog, I have often ignored what my gut instincts have directed me to do and often to my own detriment. Granted my consequences have not been as severe as the frog’s in the fable but I could have saved myself a lot of heartaches over the years had I listened to what my gut was telling me to do.
Trusting your gut above listening to the charming logic of a scorpion, a fellow human, or even your own logical brain is the cornerstone of understanding your worth. Who knows better than what is best for you, than you and your gut instinct? The answer? No one. The trick is learning to listen to what that inner voice is telling you and the even bigger trick is trust it.
Trust Your Instinct!
How many times have you ignored that inner voice in favor of being polite or listening to the reasoning of someone else or even talking yourself out of that instinct? How many times has that truly worked out for you? Probably as many times as it’s worked for me. Not just in matters of the heart but also in everyday matters and even at work, like people I didn’t want to hire, or things I was told to do even when I felt they were wrong from a procedural standpoint.
What I’ve come to realize is that I’m a pretty good judge of character and what’s right or wrong for me. Now that I’m listening to that inner voice/gut instinct, I’m making much better choices. One fine example is by giving myself time to heal and work on me instead of jumping head first into another relationship. My time alone after my divorce has been very valuable in re-connecting with that inner voice and letting it have its say. Trusting that voice has gone an immeasurably long way to re-discovering my self-worth which has been a very important part of my journey thus far.
So what do you say? In the quest for rebuilding your self-worth after divorce, how about reconnecting with your inner voice and listening to what it has to say. You may be surprised!
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