There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest. He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood, but they were beautiful, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.
He admired his new possessions proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He became so attached to them, that he didn’t even notice his hunger at first. A fruit tree reminded him of his hunger, but he felt the apples in his hands. He couldn’t bear to set them down to reach for the fruit. In fact, he couldn’t relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails.
The apples felt heavy, and at one point the poor little monkey thought about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn’t climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go? Letting go of such valuable things seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling its fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples and reached up for his meal. He was happy again.
Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. Shiny wooden apples leave us tired and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even our worries are sacred apples - they prove we are “doing everything we can.” We hold onto them compulsively.