Tiger by the tail parable

[from Marsha   How often do we have a conversation with somebody that results in a difference of opinion. Each side tries to convince the other and neither listens – the discussion can become intense.   Each tries to persuade the other of their opinion, conclusions, selected authority, and beliefs. Neither is open; and then here comes the defense, the arguments and hurt feelings.

There are certain things we like and certain things we don’t like. So we all have something called “personal taste”.   If we’re aware of it, we can allow others to have their tastes, their opinions, their conclusions and just allow it to be. There’s just whatever’s going on and you may not like it; but it is called “an event.”

Now sometimes we can liken the “event” to a tiger.   So let’s say If a tiger came into the room where you were; and you let him alone, chances are very great he’ll turn around and walk out in a little while.

But now if you don’t like tigers in your house: and you grab it by the tail and try to get it out, I got news for you. You’re gonna be involved with that tiger for quite some time because he will be annoyed by being grabbed by the tail; and he will start clawing and chewing – so you daren’t let go.  You’ll get clawed and you’ll never be able to turn him loose. And so this is like “an event” – and we have “events” every day.

So somebody comes to your house and says, “You just don’t know what you’re talking about – “I know what’s right and wrong; and you should agree with me or you are misinformed or simply stupid!” – “You should see it my way because I have checked the internet and I know!”   Instantly, you react inside and don’t like that one bit!   It doesn’t fit how you see it — so maybe you “try to keep your mouth shut”; but they continue on; and finally you express your opposite opinion and the argument escalates.

And so you could say that you “grabbed that “event” by the tail” and are hanging onto it. It goes over and over in your head. Sometimes we fight with that same little old tiger for a sleepless night or two which can carry on for maybe months and sometimes even years!

This “event” can be with marriage, children, business, neighbors and sometimes there can never be resolution. We are hanging on to our opinions, beliefs and conclusions and the contention and conflict is like “grabbing the tiger by the tail.” We don’t or can’t let go.

But if you just let an “event alone”, how long does it last?   It walks out the door in just a little while.   You don’t have to change it. Granted there are some events which require more consideration; but how many of these little events do we allow that keep us awake night after night, month after month, year after year. Who’s hanging on to the tail — you?   Is the other person hanging on to the tail?   Do you have to hang onto the tail?

The creator created a great universe, we’re told and I read that he did it by this one thing – he let it be. He didn’t “make” anything. He just let it be. Did it say he created light or did it say “let there be light.”

Let the earth bring forth all these things. In other words just don’t interfere; and it’ll take care of itself real well — it’ll all work pretty good. What a wonderful experiment for each of us. Only thing is to remember that you didn’t interfere and you watched how it was resolved without your control and perceived wisdom of what should be.

So when you “grab it by the tail”, so to speak, it’s more like your inner state and well being that’s being clawed up, isn’t it?   So you can ignore it a little bit.   Why not? Why should you do anything about it — because it disturbs you? But it won’t last indefinitely. As long as you’re not trying to change someone or something in any manner, form, or fashion, then you can do what you want to do and “leave the event alone”.

Now let’s get to reality. Let’s stick to our interpersonal relationships. Now we can carry this over into all other events, but let’s stick to where the problems might be.

Parable of the Captain and storm

If a storm blows at sea, the captain, of course , is gonna do whatever he can to take his ship out of it, but he doesn’t stand and scream at the storm.

If you’re ridin’ in an airplane and it starts getting very bumpy, the pilot will do whatever he can to get out of the bumpy air, but he doesn’t stand there and holler at the bumpy air. He really doesn’t fuss at it a bit. He takes a detour and flies higher or lower and that’s about all he does about it.

But if you have an interpersonal relationship and there’s a little bumpy air, you don’t just go take a walk – you’re gonna stand there and straighten it out. Right?   In that way you can have bumpy air for years. You see, when you “grab that tiger by the tail”, you take the tiger with you no matter where you go or what you do.  So you want to straighten out this “event”’ and you still got the “event” in here, and all the time you’re thinkin’ of right things to say to that tiger to convince; but all it does is keep the fight going on.

So when you can see the bumpy air, and get out of the storm, you pilot your ship away from the sea of contention; and that’s the way “it can be” without making any big production. All your interested in is survival.

The real idea is if your interest was in survival and evolvement, wouldn’t your behavior be decidedly different than if you’re interested in having everything your way, keepin’ all your opinions in order – makin’ everbody else toe the line to fit your opinions. If you allowed them to have theirs and you just kept yours to yourself, would the “events” be altogether different?  If you pilot away from the bumpy air, could that be called an act of survival?   You’re not going to change them no matter how hard you try, so why get all involved.

Man got himself so educated that he is conditioned to survive by having his way. It rarely happens that way; in fact it’s absolutely unsure. But if you’re awake and aware, you can respond adequately to the event as it arises. Defending yourself and trying to convince doesn’t work.

So here’s some alternatives:

Sometimes you just let the other person have their opinions, beliefs, and conclusions; and if they’re too heated, maybe you take a walk or go to the bathroom and the subject can change itself when you come back.

And sometimes it’s been said that you can just agree with them and say “Thanks for reminding me” or just coo – what a wonderful experiment and practice that can be. Your body will thank you.

So when you observe that you’ve grabbed the “tiger by the tail” and you can’t seem to change it, what ideas can you come up with to let go of the “event” you don’t like?

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