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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Catch and Release

I used to enjoy fishing. I was never really good at it and I haven’t been fishing in years but I really enjoyed it as a kid. I liked the idea that something was hiding below the surface and it was my job to coax it out of there and make it mine. Our family was never big on the whole concept of ‘catch and release.’ We’d grill them, fry them, whatever; but we’d eat and eat off of all of our catching. The sporting part was fun for sure, but we were in it for more than the fun of competition.

What I came to realize is that it’s high time that I adopted the idea of ‘catch and release.’  What I’m doing these days though is fishing for triggers that set me off, things that make me angry, things that make me sad, or things that make me hold on to grievances that only block my path to salvation. Now instead of fish, I’m looking for emotions lurking below the surface that need to be coaxed out. The bait is everywhere and it might as well be a stocked pond because everywhere my eye lands a fish is there to be hooked. (For those of you not familiar with the term, a “stock pond” is a small body of water kept so full of fish that your hook barely has time to hit the water before you catch a fish).

I can use this same concept with triggers. Catch the fish, look at it, and throw it back. Only with the triggers I’m examining issues and throwing them away. I may catch them again one day, but hopefully not. For example: the other day I saw the term ‘Retail Therapy’ and heard a woman just a few days later actually use the term. “I’m just going for some retail therapy.” Just something about the phrase made me want to puke and using the catch and release method I realized why. I took the whole idea and spun it around and looked at it as more than just a superficial phrase. Sure, maybe this woman wanted to release some stress by doing an activity that she loves; shopping. Maybe that annoys me because she was about to go “blow” more than my month’s rent on shoes and dresses and a latte. Maybe the whole idea of just going out and shopping as an activity rather than a necessity was what annoyed me so much. This of course led me to the whole idea of excess and the fact that anything bought during ‘retail therapy’ wasn’t ever needed; just wanted.

So now, (in keeping with the fishing metaphor here) I then opened up a new can of worms. Is the “excess” in her life expressed through retail therapy just triggering a sense of lack in mine? That was one large ugly fish I plucked out of the pond. As of today, I’m still looking at it. I’ll throw it back once I’ve forgiven myself for creating that fish in the first place.

Damn ugly fish! I release you! I forgive myself and hold no grievance against the lack in my life, the idea of waste, or even the term ‘retail therapy.’ Wheeeew! (It was a longer process than just that of course).

Like they always say though, there are tons of other fish in the sea. For example, the phrase ‘grand-dogs’, people who let kids stand on furniture that isn’t their own, guys who think it’s alright to adjust their privates while holding a conversation with you, and many more that I’ve seen just today. I release you all and hold no grievance against you. I am only here today to ask, what I should do, where should I go and what I should say to whom. I am only here to wait and listen for a response, not to judge or hold any grievance against. I release all of the fish back into the sea. 


MAC is wack said...

The meaning of "stock pond" must vary regionally. Growing up, we would refer to some ponds as "stocked." They were the ones that were annually stocked with fish for catching. However,when we said "stock pond," we referred to a small pond created to give livestock a place to drink while pasturing in a large field.

I'll go read the rest now.

AJ said...

You, I'm sure are correct. I defer to you Sir on the definition there, but... A simple web search does say it's a place to water livestock. Whatever. Not the point. I release my definition of the stock pond as well.

MAC is wack said...

That's the right attitude!

MAC is wack said...

As a boy growing up in the country, I did a lot of fishing in stock ponds... not so much in stocked ponds.

MAC is wack said...

... and I should start using this catch and release frame of mind in my work life. There are many things that I just need to let go.