By Ox Drover
If I told you that you had to eat an entire cow, do you think you could do it? How about if I told you that you had to eat an entire cow in only ten minutes? Do you think you could do it? “Holy cow! I can’t do that!” you might say.
Well, I think we all have our personal “cows” that we try to eat. Big jobs or big projects that we look at and say “Noooooo way, I can’t eat all of that!” So having seen this particular “cow” as too big to swallow in one bite, we never even attempt to eat it. We just let it sit there in the middle of our lives, using up our resources, taking up space, and growing bigger by the day! Every time we look at this “pet cow,” it is bigger and bigger and more impossible to swallow in one bite. Its horns grow longer and it gets a worse and worse attitude toward us and we begin to fear it more. Maybe even when people come over to visit and they see our “cow,” they say something like, “What is a big cow doing in your living room?” We may even reply, “What cow? I don’t have a cow.”
If, however, we look at the reality of this “cow”—or any other big “cow”—things are a bit different. If you stop to think, a McDonald’s hamburger is a “quarter pounder” and four quarter pounders equals one pound of beef. Since an average-sized cow will produce about 300 pounds of boneless hamburger/beef, then one cow is equal to 1,200 McDonald’s Quarter Pounders. So you have more than likely eaten more than one cow in your lifetime already! One bite at a time.
I can remember looking at lots of things that seemed like such big projects, big “cows,” that I just didn’t think I could tackle them at all. If you break these big projects down to bite sized pieces though, then you can eat them in 10 minutes—10 minutes at a time.
Let’s say the “big cow” is cleaning out your garage, which is stuffed to the rafters and you don’t even know where to start. Spend 10 minutes working on it today. Just 10 minutes! Then the next day, another 10 minutes. Small bites of a big cow will eventually get the job done.
When we start to look at all the work we need to do to finish the “big project” of our own healing after the complete devastation of the relationship with the psychopath, sometimes we feel like we have, I think, a whole herd of “cows” in our lives that we have to contend with. We may feel like we are overwhelmed by such a mountain of “male bovine excrement” as well, that seems to be piling up higher and higher each day. There are always the everyday projects of work, housekeeping, children, pets, community and other things that take our energy, so that we seem to have little or no energy left for dealing with sweeping out the bovine excrement. Even thinking about eating our way out of the problem doesn’t seem possible because we can’ swallow it all at once.
Changing our expectations from eating the cow in one bite, to eating the cow one bite at a time works. So start breaking your expectations down to smaller doses of things you can swallow! Then just keep on chewing!