Shake it Off

By Paula Briedis, LCPC

This is a parable that I heard years ago.  I have used it often with my work with individuals who are facing struggles that appear to be insurmountable.  I’ll paraphrase it here.

 “One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into an old well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.  Finally, he decided the donkey was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.  They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.  At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He shook it off and took a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Samaritan Counseling Center has licensed therapists located throughout the area to help you ‘shake off the dirt’ of your for life. With offices in Barrington, Algonquin, McHenry, and Crystal Lake, help is not far away. For more information about Samaritan or to schedule an appointment, please call (847)382-HOPE (4673). Information is also available online at www.sccnw.org.

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