We all have challenges to face. Health challenges can sometimes be the most daunting hurdles of them all.
So, as you face those health challenges, what attitude will you take? Will you moan and groan and bewail your fate, or will you strive to have a positive mindset and a sense of humor, even if it be ‘gallows humor’?
Consider the following metaphor. There was once a squirrel who loved to brag about everything but his long, bushy tail. He thought his tail was ugly and told it so when no one else was around to overhear.
Is there a part of your body or your life that you do not like? Do you invest much of your mental energies in bewailing your fate by whining, “Why did that have to happen? Why are things the way they are? Why me? Woe is me!”
Back to our story, this squirrel narrowly escaped being a hawk’s main course by diving into a small hole he found in a tall tree. Feeling a strong need to brag, he looked around. Since no other creature was present, he decided to brag to the parts of his body of which he felt most proud: his eyes, ears, legs, and nose.
Beginning with his eyes, squirrel said, “Eyes, I was really great! What about you? What did you do to help?”
Eyes responded, “We were the ones who saw Hawk coming. And we were the ones who helped you find this small hole.”
Squirrel praised, “Good job, Eyes!”
He had similar conversations with his ears, legs, and nose.
Squirrel was really enjoying his bragging game; unfortunately, there was no one left to brag to but his much-despised tail.
Begrudgingly, squirrel said, “All right, Tail! What did you do to help?”
For a long time, squirrel’s tail had been harboring feelings of hurt and pain. Spitefully, he said, “I did nothing to help. In fact, I tried hard to sabotage your escape by waving around so that hawk did not lose sight of us.”
Are you friends with every part of your body? Or have you made an enemy of one particular part to the point where you feel like it is trying to sabotage you in some way?
Squirrel was so infuriated, he snapped, “You are ugly! I’ve never liked you anyway. And since you did nothing to help and almost got us caught, we are going to throw you out!”
Squirrel did not take into consideration the positive facts about his tail. It helps him to achieve balance as he jumps from tree to tree. It helps him to stay safely on a tree branch as he munches on his food. Squirrel might not appreciate how his tail looks, but that part of his body is essential to squirrel being squirrel.
Squirrel took his tail and threw it out of the safe, little hole in the tree. Naturally, the hawk saw the tail. He flew down, grabbed it, and launched himself into the air.
Of course, squirrel was attached to that tail. He belatedly understood that he needed to take care of and appreciate all of the parts of his body, whether or not he thought them beautiful or worthwhile.
Does this story make you think about a time in your own life when you felt bad about a part of yourself or a part of your life? Are you going to make that part of you into your enemy, or can you find positive aspects to appreciate about that part of your body or that part of your life?
As squirrel was flying through the air, he seemed to hear animals and humans complaining about various parts of their body, too. This surprised him so much that he suddenly felt ashamed for the mean way he had treated his own tail.
Squirrel decided to apologize to his tail. He wanted to make peace with each aspect of himself so they could all die in peace together.
Fueled with feelings of forgiveness, his tail started wiggling his way out of the hawk’s clutches. Before you knew it, all of squirrel’s body worked together to get them back in that safe little hole in the tree.
After the hawk flew away in disgust, the squirrel gratefully said, “Wow, Everybody! You were spectacular! Tail, thanks to you, we’re all still alive! Eyes, Ears, Nose, Legs, and I salute you!”
Tail waved and twitched his modest thanks.
Squirrel had learned his lesson to never put down any part of his body. In fact, he traveled all around, telling the tale of his very special tail. It was his hope that every animal and human would learn to love and treasure every part of themselves as being very special and very important.
So, how does that tale apply to us?
Read any of the following articles to find out:
Other stories in this health challenges series
- Squirrel metaphor: Bewail your fate versus positive mindset (see above)
- Broken ankle: Bewail your fate versus positive mindset
(These and other titles coming soon.)
- Breast cancer: Bewail your fate versus positive mindset
Source material: In 2001, the author reworked a Native American tale about coyote into a story called “Squirrel rejects his bushy tail.” This story is one of 32 stories and novellas in her book entitled “White Reindeer, Kudzu Monster, & Other Tales of Wonder” written under her pen name of DJ Lyons.
To read or to download the entire role-play, please click on the following article link on rootshed.com:
- Be Bully Free role-play: Squirrel rejects his bushy tail
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