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The Gingerbread Man & The Buffalo

Updated: Dec 17, 2023




I first wrote this blog in 2015 and was reminded of it again in August 2020 after pretty badly and being very limited in what I could do. As I update it in Dec 2023 I was reminded of if twice today once whilst seeing some Christmas Gingerbread and the other whilst reading an analogy about how buffalo respond when a storm hits. I have added that story to the end. I hope you find some inspiration in either or both.


August 2020


Today once more I am so grateful for the journey that I have been on and the well being options I have access too.

Dec 2015


“Run, Run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man”

Earlier this week I saw the very cute Gingerbread Lane products in Millie Fiori in Camlough and the line above from the Children’ book instantly came into my head. I couldn't remember exactly how the story went but the words resonated on a deeper level, and perhaps even more so when I looked up the whole story. The shortened version is that The Gingerbread man ran away and avoided getting caught by The Little Old Lady, The Little Old Man, The Cow, The Pig, The Horse but eventually a fox outsmarted him and he got caught and eaten (so much for happy endings)


Reading it reminded me of a time a number of years ago when I was at a very emotionally difficult time in my life and like most people I tried various different things to help me feel better and to try and manage what was I feeling.


One of the first things people often suggest is exercise and I agree it is definitely one of the best things for helping to keep you physically & mentally healthy but I also knew that it wasn't going to be the only answer for me, I remember thinking what if some day, “I can't run fast enough, pedal hard enough or swim for long enough to stop the emotions and feelings catching up with me”? I knew that whilst I needed tools to use and things to do that helped me manage how I was feeling, I also knew I didn't want to live with the fear that someday just like The Gingerbread Man, I would get caught. I feel very blessed that somehow I just knew that as well as dealing/treating the symptoms I also needed to go a deeper, I needed to get to the root of why I was feeling how I was feeling.


Dec 2023

That leads me on to the Buffalo Story and rather than retell in my own words I though I would share an extract from a Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Donna Thompson from refugecentre.org


"I recently learned a fascinating fact about buffalo. While cattle disperse and try to outrun threatening weather, buffalo instinctually gather together and charge straight into an approaching storm. How can this be? Why would they do this? This behavior seems to go against the innate survival instinct that all animals have, until you understand it.


Unfortunately, by trying to run away from it, cows actually end up running with the storm. This prolongs their exposure to the dangerous weather which leaves them scared, scattered and vulnerable. However, when buffalo sense an approaching storm they assemble, face the storm, and run head-first to the other side. By running directly into the impending threat, they minimize their exposure to harm.


What a magnificent display of God’s creativity and design which offers insight into surviving our own personal storms! We see two opposing behaviors that lead to drastically different outcomes. Two details immediately caught my attention.

  • First, the value found in community and assembling. We were created for relationship. Connecting with others can provide comfort, strength and security when life gets overwhelming.

  • Second, the importance of facing the storm head on. There are numerous responses to a crisis. We can exhaust ourselves trying to avoid it, we can wait it out by doing nothing, or we can acknowledge it and seek support and new skills needed to get through it. "


Two different stories with similar messages, we can't outrun the storms in our lives, we need to feel them to heal them and with the right support we can heal at a deeper level that we can imagine, the storm will pass and the light will return.

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