Select Page

Careful what metaphors you choose to conceive of yourself and your current place in the universe.

A man says: “I’m being crushed by my life.” And proceeds to list a myriad factors all of which seem to have aggregated into one huge ball of metal, a space chunk, which has apparently fallen from the sky and flattened him. 

So I wonder, if he chooses another metaphor, one in which he is not the hapless victim of events which loom over him and fall from ‘above’, will he then retrieve a greater sense of agency?

Let’s say he envisions himself a rancher whose herd is being picked off by wolves. (Sorry to choose this particular metaphor since wolves need all the help they can get, but you get the idea.) He could then isolate each animal and, one by one, kill them off. In this way he has deconstructed the apparent amalgam of circumstances, created individual issues, each to be addressed separately and overcome. Agency restored.

But what if he concurs and chooses another metaphor instead: “I’m being nibbled to death by baby ducks?” Well now, this is a positive development for the man. Firstly, ducks are not prone to nibbling human flesh, at least not intentionally or with any level of commitment. They’re not nearly as able as Lilliputians to hamstring him, and could indeed be swatted away. Of course one wouldn’t want to harm the tiny creatures because they are terribly cute (which is another way of lessening the drama of life flattening). This is indeed a better metaphor.

I think that holding the initial conceit, that one’s life is supposed to be anything other than trying in general, can get one into big trouble. If one sets out with the assumption that joy and pleasure and ease often happen only in an arbitrary fashion, or only happen with some effort on the part of the interested party, and accepts the fact that life throws numerous tedious requirements at us on a daily basis (or, as I have written in my book, that life is 85% maintenance or was it 90%?), then one’s expectations can be set at a level which would preclude enormous disappointment, or despair.

The man seems to have chosen a lifestyle which has become untenable. Perhaps he could playact a bit and consider himself the captain of a large ship which, in order to reach ‘the promised land’ (wherever that may be), will have to navigate strong currents, adverse weather and numerous hidden shoals. In this case what he needs to focus on is the wheel in his hands, the chart before him and the wind in his hair.



[et_pb_image_n10s src=”” size=”et-pb-portfolio-module-image” n10s_type=”portland” title1_overlay=”RETURN HOME” image_as_url=”on” url_new_window=”on” image_alpha_hover=”0.65″ admin_label=”RETURN HOME” header_font_size=”30px” _builder_version=”3.17.2″ header_font=”OCRB Medium|500|||||||” url=””][/et_pb_image_n10s]
[et_pb_image_n10s src=”” size=”et-pb-portfolio-module-image” n10s_type=”portland” title1_overlay=”RETURN CATEGORY” image_as_url=”on” url=”” image_alpha_hover=”0.6″ admin_label=”RETURN CATEGORY” header_font_size=”30px” _builder_version=”3.2″ header_font=”OCRB Medium|600|||||||”][/et_pb_image_n10s]

Glad You're Here!

If you find what you see entertaining, do Subscribe!

I promise not to inundate your inbox :@)

You have Successfully Subscribed!