Trappers take a small cage into the jungle, and inside the cage they place a bunch of bananas. When a monkey comes along and spots the bananas, it will reach through one of the narrow openings in the cage and grab one. However, because the banana is bigger than the hole he’s put his hand through, the monkey can’t get the banana out. No matter how hard he tries, he simply cannot pull his hand out while holding on to the banana.
When the trappers return, the monkey is caught in a dilemma. If he would just let go of the banana, he could pull out his hand, run away and be free. However, because he wants the banana so much, he won’t let go – and is easily caught.
Our mind is a lot like that monkey – and our problems are like those bananas. We think about them and we think about them. We think about how to stop them. We think about what’s wrong with us that we can’t stop them. We think about what got us into them. We think about what others did to get us into them. And we think about trying to stop thinking about them... Yet all the while, we’re still holding on to the ‘banana.’ No matter how hard we try, the result is that we keep holding onto our problems. However, the only way we’ll ultimately be able to let the problems go is by letting go of that thinking – and focusing on being free - redirecting our thoughts on the future we want to live into.