“Not My Monkeys, Not My Circus”
Sometimes, you just have to let go of what you can’t control.
Living with this motto engrained in your head allows you to still be there for others, especially the ones you love and would do anything for, without internalizing their issues and making them your own. It’s in our nature to care for others and to lend a helping hand when called upon, but it’s vital to be able to separate yourself at the end of the day so your mind is boggled down with problems you can not solve.
When issues arise for others and you are roped into the situation, there is only so much you can do. Of course, you should give them your advice, support, and guidance if you can, but at the end of the day, the ball is in their court, not yours. This saying reminds us that it’s completely unnecessary to take on everyone else’s problems because it’s impossible to outthink the universe by trying to control it. We don’t have that power and never will.
The other day, my mom and I were having a conversation and I was over analyzing a situation that had happened earlier the day. When I finished babbling on about the unforeseen event, my mom said to me, “Not your monkeys, not your circus.” I had only heard that phrase a few times in my life so I went in my room and reflected some, and it was like a moment of enlightenment. The magnitude of this is great because it’s crucial to let things go when you are not the one in control and to focus only on the stuff directly going on your own life (your own circus). Although this may sound selfish, I think it’s imperative when you have your own monkeys and circus to deal with on a daily basis.
Life is far too hectic to be consumed with someone else’s side show and mess and when you are working towards your goals and working hard, others shouldn’t bury you in their chaos.
However, I pride myself in being there for others and being all ears when they need to vent, but there is a fine line between being there for someone and taking on their problems as your own. I have a mile-long to do list, but stressing about someone else’s issues is not one of them.
I’m only human so I am empathetic and care, especially for the ones I love most, but sometimes, I just have to take a step back and realize my life just doesn’t have room for the extra chaos.