Two travelling monks reached a ford in a river where they met a young lady of the night. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders. Together the monks strode through the river until they reached the other side. The monk set the prostitute down on the other bank. She thanked him and continued her journey.
As the monks continued on their way, one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke with anger. “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women – let alone that sort of woman – but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!”
“Brother,” the second monk replied, “I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.”
Several years ago I heard this story and it’s stuck with me ever since.
Now, whenever Mr. Lively or I are unable to let go of something that happened earlier in the day or at work, we remind each other to “put down the woman.”
There is no use in carrying her further than necessary.