Troughout my life I have found there are three ways by which people try to be happy in life:
- By fighting for what we think we are worth
- By distancing ourselves, saying it all ‘doesn’t matter that much’
- Or by trying to accept ourselves and situations
Personally, these three mechanisms have all served me served me at some point in my life, but none of them seemed to give me the life I longed for in the long run. I how I used them and what they have thought me are covered in this post.
For now I would like to share some of the implications of these three mechanisms, how they are present in our lives and why we need an integrated approach in using them. I use the HeartRoads inner-balance model that I have created around these three approaches to illustrate this.
In the model I have linked the above-mentioned three approaches to three animals.
- The Lion is a courageous creature that doesn’t take no for an answer. As king of his land he does what is right, with pride and is unafraid to the consequences of his actions. He dares to stand alone if that is what it takes to fulfil his destiny. It this way the Lion stands for courage and action.
- The Owl is regarded as a wise bird who can fly above the quarrelling of the creatures in the woods. It gives him a sense of wisdom and detachment. However, when we think about an owl, we often picture him sitting on a tree with his eyes closed. Therefore the Owl also stands for self-reflection.
- The Whale, being totally immersed in his environment, flows gracefully to the see. Where does he end and the sea begin? He is the epitome of acceptance and completely one with his feelings and life.
*Post continues below image*
Each of the above animals have their talents and are much needed fo life a fulfilling life. But they need each other to be complete and leverage their talents fully.
The Lion, because of his courage and work ethic, can achieve great things. But without the ability to detach and see the bigger picture he can lose himself in fighting battles, losing sight on why he started in the first place. He could be striving for a higher purpose but forget about the things closest to him.
Therefore the Lion needs the Owl to keep an eye on the effects of all that he is doing, his goals and his reason for going to battle every day. He needs the Whale to accept himself, the consequences of the harsh decisions that come with leading a kingdom and to keep his heart open to things other than his mission.
The Owl may know himself but he doesn’t know life since he is often too distant from it. Looking inside he has found freedom, but in keeping his eyes closed he has been alienated from the other creatures in the forrest.
It is the courage of the Lion that will bring him back and help him get his paws dirty, to take on a big project and get in touch with life. He also needs the Whale to tell him which project this should be, and to accept it with grace.
The Whale, being alone in the water, knows the value of letting things come close. Water is his source of life after all. But his acceptance of all things can be paralyzing and result in lack of direction.
When he is too overwhelmed, he can’t get anything done. And trying to accept that situation is often not what will get him out of it. His acceptance only serves him when he can attach from his feelings as well, and take the action to move forward in life. This is where the Owl and Lion come in.