By Julia Jenkins, Dec 23 2018 01:11PM
Three Wise Monkeys? Don’t you mean Three Wise Men?
This little ornament of the 3 Wise Monkeys is in my consulting room. I found it on Ebay and the listing said it was made of wood. It was a very odd looking thing, which seemed pretty grubby but I planned to scrub it down and paint if some funky colour.
When the item arrived, I was rather upset that, it was broken in several places as it was not wood but some sort of resin. It was consigned to the pile of stuff in the Utility Room bound for the dump, but I just couldn’t get it off my mind. After a day or so I retrieved the pieces and began the task of sticking it back together. Although you could still see some of the cracks and missing bits, I was really pleased the results and I realised that is represents so much about Counselling and my practice with my Clients.
There is, of course, the obvious and the original ancient significance of the Three Wise Monkeys, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. But, I am mindful of the way that things that are said (or not said), heard (or not heard) and spoken (or not spoken) can cause such dreadful pain and problems for people, perhaps “breaking” them in several places just like the ornament. I work with clients supporting them while they retrieve the pieces and stick themselves back together again.
This time year can be very difficult, especially when it comes to relationships, and some people are dreading it. Perhaps you may be struggling with grief and loss or entertaining a difficult friend or relative. If you are, could I ask you to think about the broken monkeys? I took all the pieces which remained and worked at putting them back together to the best of my ability and in the way I wanted. There are still gaps, bits missing and visible cracks, it far from perfect and it will never be how it used to be. But, there is still something special and unique about the ornament, the breaking of it has helped me reflect on its damaged beauty and its deeper meaning and that is just perfect for me.