If I had to choose just one famous elephant as my favorite, I'm not sure I could! The first that comes to mind is the classic Dumb and his Mom, Mrs. Jumbo, who completely make the heart melt with all their Disney goodness. But, then there's Horton with his great curiosity for new worlds or the French Barbar with his sense of adventure, sophistication and leadership abilities. And although more like a woolly mammoth, I can't help but love the devoted friend Big Bird has in Sufffleupagus!
The elephant is a symbol of strength, stamina, size and ability to work well with each other. It's because of these admirable qualities they have been made into many a cliche.
When someone references 'the elephant in the room' we all know that means something is looming in the air people are avoiding talking about. It is an insurmountable issue that makes people uncomfortable, puts them on edge and forces them to put crazy work into pretending to ignore it in hopes someone else is brave enough to say something.
When someone says 'an elephant never forgets' we know it's a reference to their enviable memories (which of course means that the elephant in the room isn't going anywhere!)
When an ex-boyfriend used an elephant as a reference to my backside, well, lets just say he is an ex for a reason!
But the elephant reference I use when people ask me about something I haven't experienced yet on my journey is...
it's like eating an elephant, I'm doing it one bite at at time.
It's easy to get caught up worrying about how I've dealt with something in the past, or the 'what ifs' of the future, but the truth is, the only moment I have any control over is the one I am currently in.
It means I choose not to waste my energy on the unknown, or what has already happened. The past is behind me and the future will take care of itself, but the challenges that face me today are the ones I can do something about and need my attention. It doesn't mean I'm ignorant about future happenings, it just means at this point, I can't do anything about them! So I ask myself,
what can I deal with in the here and now?
This is the bite I take.
With each 'bite' I gain confidence in my ability to handle craziness and better prepare myself for the next challenge around the corner. I take the energy I would have wasted on worrying and put it into the task at hand.
I want to make the most of what I can accomplish now, and to do that I need the daring of Dumbo, curiosity of Horton and sophistication of Babar.