tentacles of life

Many years ago, as soldiers fought in the heat of the jungle, they experienced something very frustrating, to say the least. It was bad enough that they were hunting, and being hunted, by an unseen enemy. But they also had nature to contend with. There was a prickly vine that would attach itself to them, trapping them in such a way that the more they struggled to get free, the more the plant would send extra tentacles to entangle them. They named the plant the ‘wait-a-minute’ vine because they were not able to move forward and would have to call on their team members for help. “Hey, wait a minute, I’m stuck!”
Now if they didn’t ask for help, they’d probably die of starvation and thirst eventually.
They called out for help though. But what would the result have been if, upon arriving on the scene to help, the entangled soldier did not allow them to help? Yes, death, but this time with an audience. (we all know they never would have watched their man die, but for the purposes of this blog, let’s just go with my chosen outcome 😛 )


We all get stuck sometimes. Things happen in life that
send unseen tentacles our way that entangle us and
prevent us from moving forward.

Retrenchment, a failed relationship, the death of a loved one – these are only three in a very long list of life occurrences that can have detrimental effects on our happiness and general well being if we don’t handle them correctly.

Acknowledging that you need help and asking for it is NOT a sign of weakness – it is in fact a very strong and courageous thing to do. 

These occurrences will often have emotional responses attached to them. It’s important for us to be careful of the effects our responses may have on our hearts and thoughts, and the impact of that later on in our journey.

We shouldn’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.

And getting back to those soldiers…. it’s easy, particularly in the blogging world, to pour out our hearts and our emotions and acknowledge that we may need help in certain areas because of external influencing factors. It’s easy to tell our friends, ”I lost my job today. I may need to call on you for some help at a later stage.”

The actual act of doing so is where it gets tough.

Because it makes us vulnerable. Because there may be a learning curve attached to whatever it is we are going through in that moment. Because we may actually have to deal with something painful within ourselves so that we can grow. And because human nature is proud and stubborn.


Photo credit : picturequotes.com

Being able to admit you need help is half the battle won. But if you keep saying ‘no’, you’ll never win the war.

You’re going to stay stuck.

And if you choose to just give up on that tentacle that is weighing you down – ”I’ll never find another job with the current unemployment status of my country”?

You’re going to stay stuck.

The most important part of getting unstuck though is this : moving forward.

The soldier acknowledges he needs help – ”I’m stuck”! The soldier then accepts help – his mates thrash away at those tentacles and eventually free him. But then…the soldier HIMSELF is the one who has to move forward.

I wish I could tell you that moving forward when you’ve become unstuck is easy. It’s not. These tentacles usually bring with them a fair amount of emotional pain. But these tentacles are very often the obstacles that are representations of opportunities for personal growth. And we all know that personal growth can be painful. A big part of accepting that help is also accepting the need for change within yourself – a change in attitude, if you will.

It’s not the time for flight. It’s the time to fight. To reassess your values, put an end to the limiting belief that ‘it will never happen’, embrace your mistakes and challenges, and continue on in hope. In the words of Mahatma Ghandi :

It’s the time to be the change you want to see in the world.






24 thoughts on “tentacles of life

  1. Great story! I completely agree with you. Temporary emotions, no matter how strong they might be at the time shouldn’t cloud us from making the best decisions for our lives. Moving forward regardless of the pain is what life is all about. Happiness thrives when we can find some silver lining in the worst of storms. Love the wise words ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really could write so much here about your post but I wouldn’t know how to bring it all together not being a blogging expert and linking my reply to your blog.
    The first thing that came to my mind funnily enough was an Octopus and the way that it uses its tentacles to devour its prey, and how this relates so much to life especially when you think of negative cycles of behaviour, addiction, codependency in relationships, grief and other obstacles that occur in life which may hold us back from reaching our fullest potential.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you my friend, I am glad that you liked it.
        I think in reality it is the confines of our imagination and understanding that hold us back more than anything else, because our imagination and creativity allow us to break free of the prison that is our belief system.
        I for example want to write a book but I don’t feel creative enough not that I need to be creative in reality because it is my journey so far, but I feel that I lack the skills required and yet in many ways I think that my blogging is entertaining, serious in parts but also shows a lot of me and my life so surely it is a bit like writing a book or am I missing the point.somewhat, I really would appreciate your feedback as a published author.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re not missing the point at all. The only difference with a book is putting it all together in one giant volume, as opposed to individual blog posts 😉
        Books based on real life often contain all of those very moments – seriousness, entertainment and lessons! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you my friend.
        I know that I normally put emojis on the end of my replies to you but I am using my laptop and I am not sure how to do them. If I use my phone they are all there for me but technology !!!
        Thank you so much for your support and encouragement I really appreciate it. x

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a pity because I was going to ask you to mentor me lol.
        I have reblogged your post and added my thoughts to it, I don’t know how it will work but I hope that you approve.
        I am sure that it will credit you as the original source.
        Enjoy your day although I am unsure what time it is in South Africa but it is now 6.30a.m. UK time so another restless night – I am thinking of writing a sequel to the film Sleepless in Seattle and calling it Sleepless in Pembrokeshire – the journey of an insomniac.
        What do you think??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You did great! So you don’t need a mentor after all 😉
        Still morning here, nearly time for another big beautiful cup of coffee 😛
        I absolutely love your sequel idea! Had a good giggle – sounds great! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Coffee the drink of insomniacs all the world over I am just going to join you in one, just a regular instant when we are at home Millionaires Latte or cappuccino or a seasonal blend if we are out, enjoy the rest of your morning and I hope that I did my thoughts on Tentacles of life justice when I reblogged it, I was right inasmuch as my comments went first and then your full blog appeared underneath but I thank you for your inspiration and friendship. x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Paul's blog and commented:
    I would like to thank my friend at no passing fancy for writing this piece and it contains so many thoughts about how we help others, how we can become entangled very easily in our situation and our emotions without really understanding how we got there in the first place.
    When I thought of the way that the plant life and vegetation wrapped itself tightly around the person and seemed to tighten its grip when they were struggling to get free, my immediate thoughts turned to the Octopus because having watched a few documentaries on the behaviour of the Octopus it appears that they ensnare their prey in very much the same way and devour them as the tentacles within the vegetation.

    I then thought about life and its tentacles, the things that hold us back, our unchecked emotions especially negative emotions, anger, resentment, frustration, disappointment and delusion to name a few.

    Our behaviour patterns hold us back – lack of control, self discipline and self-esteem are all things that can prevent us from reaching our fullest potential.
    Addiction and the cycle of addiction – how many of us trapped in addiction have felt trapped with just that substance of choice being our release, our coping mechanism and our friend.
    Our need to have this substance being the thing that beats all other things, the missed parent’s evening, anniversary, birthday of a loved one all because we were too engrossed in having one for the road, which usually turned into several and the knowledge that questions would be asked when you finally walked through the door, I know because I was that person.
    The inability to show emotion and interestingly enough the loss of a life in all but name. I will endeavour to explain this more fully and relate it to a stalker and the psychology of a stalker – the stalker becomes so obsessed with the object of their desire that they spend all of their time both when sleeping and when awake thinking about the other person, asking themselves many torturous questions like What is that person doing now?? Who are they with and Where are they??
    The stalker will go through rubbish bins, follow on social media, be wherever they are and will even watch their homes overnight whilst sitting in the car. They will go to amazing lengths but more than that they will give up living.

    These are the ties that bind us, whether it be addiction, negative feelings or emotions about unresolved issues from our past, whether it be a case of not letting go of someone either through death or the ending of a relationship or any other situation.
    The good news is that we can break free if we want to and that is by asking for help, we often view asking for help as being a sign of weakness however I see it as a strength and very courageous, we show our weakness and vulnerabilities bit we cannot survive without being helped in one way or another, the strangest thing is that if there is too much month and not enough money we would have no problem in asking someone to lend us some money or food etc. but asking for help to overcome a death is too hard a thing for us to do.
    Breaking free of those things that bind us is not easy it requires humility but I can assure you that it can be done and life can get better.
    I can make this assurance and promise because I did it and for 22 years now I have been sober and for the last 5+ years been in the most loving relationship that I have ever been in apart from the relationship with my Grandfather.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s