Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Metaphorically Speaking

Have you ever vowed to make a change in your life?   It’s probably wise to understand where you are before you decide where you want to be.  When I ask new clients to describe their lives to me, metaphors are often offered by way of explanation.  Some examples of metaphors shared with me include, “I’m peering into an abyss”, “I’m at a crossroads”, “I’m adrift at sea”, “I’m on a treadmill and don’t know how to get off”, “My life’s a car crash”.    The images created by the metaphors give you access on an emotional level, enabling a connection with the experience.

So, what’s your metaphor?  A metaphor might be a good way of helping you and others to make meaning of your situation. It certainly helps me in my work with clients, at times when words don’t come easy to them.  In addition, having a visual image means that the image can be changed.  Take the treadmill metaphor above.  Treadmills have an emergency ‘stop’ button, so what if it was used?  What feelings/emotions would that elicit just thinking about pressing ‘stop’?  Once the feelings are identified, one might want to look at the past to see where those feelings have been most prominent and try to find some compassion for oneself; that it’s ok to slow down.  Easier said than done, indeed, but the metaphor enables understanding and further exploration.

In finishing this piece of writing, I’ve crossed a finish line and you probably know that’s a good feeling because the image of the finish line is something you can relate to. We make use of metaphors in our everyday lives because they create an impact, so don’t you deserve to have one that represents your way of being in the world?

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