There’s a story about a House Burning for a Reason I like to tell that illustrates the power of letting go and turning negatives into positives.
There was once a fisherman who was always angry and miserable. He had no belief in the goodness of life, never expected any pleasure, never looked for any happiness. He never expressed any love or affection, and often vented his rage by beating his wife and children. His family was terrified of him, and everyone who knew him avoided him because of his wrathful behavior. His wife and children often wished he would never come back from his fishing trips.
One day, the fisherman left for the docks after his usual morning of screaming at his “lazy good for nothing” children and railing at his wife for the breakfast that was never cooked right. Then, out at sea, the fish weren’t biting, and the fisherman worked himself into an even meaner state. He cursed how he didn’t deserve such a hard life and worthless family, and how nothing ever worked out right for him.
He was so busy complaining he didn’t notice a dark storm had been building and was just about to turn violent. In a matter of minutes, massive ocean waves were writhing and churning furiously. His little boat was cast about like a helpless twig, and then suddenly the boat exploded into tiny pieces. The fisherman was cast like a stone into the water. Desperately he groped for the largest piece of the fragmented boat he could see, and he clung to it struggling to stay afloat.