The Proverbial Chain

Photo by Nawartha Nirmal on Unsplash

In Sri Lanka and arguably in many Asian countries, the elephant is invariably intertwined with one’s culture. While most wildlife enthusiasts are fond of these giants for the excitement of just seeing them in their natural habitat brings, there are also various parts of religion and culture that these giants are made a part of since ancient days. In Sri Lanka it is common to see an elephant in most of the renowned temples. They will be dressed in beautiful robes and walked in processions. While the ethics and moralities involved with this has many varied views, it is not my intention of discussing it here. There is a story woven around these elephants that we see in temples with a chain attached to one of their legs. Elephants being really strong animals could break the chain attached to them and leave if they wanted to. However, since they’ve been tied to the chain since they were young, and they couldn’t break away from it during their childhood, they don’t even try to break away when they’ve turned into adults.

This to me feels like can apply to so many situations we face in our lives. Sometimes, we stay in certain situations that degrade us, humiliate us and make us feel like we’re worthless for way too long that we tend to end up believing those perceptions to be the truth about ourselves. When it’s definitely not. These could be different situations. If we’re in a relationship where the partner with or without the intention to do so, seems to make you feel bad about yourself constantly, it might not take too long for it to get internalized and for us to believe that to be the truth about ourselves.

Likely, if you’re stuck studying something you’re not genuinely interested in, which is more commonly the case where I’m from, and you’re constantly doing badly at it, then it might not be long before you let yourself believe that you’re only capable of being bad at things. Which is not the truth. The truth is that you have constantly been doing something that you don’t like and that you’re not good at which has caused you to fail constantly. That doesn’t mean you won’t do well at something else.

We could get stuck in a proverbial chain like the elephant, in many situations in our lives. Being stuck in situations that do not serve us can very easily alter how we view ourselves. This is probably why they say, that the most important thing for a person to do is to find who they are. When you know who you are and what you’re truly capable of, along with your mistakes, no other person or situation can twist your idea of who you are. It is also why, it’s important to be aware enough, when you’re constantly feeling bad about yourself to identify where it’s stemming from. If it’s from a proverbial chain you’re stuck to, then it maybe time to realize it and release yourself from it ✨

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Chathumi Thumbovila

Chathumi Thumbovila

I’m an undergraduate currently studying in the 3rd Year of University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. I’m a passionate reader, traveler and a Public Speaker :)