We came across a metaphor in another blog regarding everyday coping and our reaction to it was so typical of many of the metaphors that have been told to us in a healing context. I would reply to the person who has the metaphor in their blog, but this is more about our reaction to it, rather than anything that could help them… It might have helped them smile, but I didn’t want to run the risk.
There is a smooth soccer field that represents daily experiences, with the triggered unconscious memory creating a gopher hole in the field. You watch for the pattern of gopher holes and use a feather to gently smooth the disturbed dirt back over the holes to smooth them out. The important part is to look for the gopher hole patterns.
Young parts – But won’t that hurt the gophers? They need the holes to get out and feed and everything? Gophers are cute, we need to save them.
Protectors of the young parts, trying to reassure the young parts – The gophers aren’t really there, they’re just pretend gophers. We don’t even have gophers in New Zealand.
Perfectionists – We must smooth out those holes at any cost.
Organisers after hearing the young ones concerns – So if we re-locate the gophers, can we fill in the holes? Suddenly a re-location plan for non-existent gophers gets under-way.
A cynic – What do we care about soccer fields for anyway?
The frustrating thinker – But if we cover up the holes with the gophers in them, aren’t they just going to create more holes elsewhere on the field? Isn’t covering them up just like repressing the memories that has got us into this mess? This will trigger our need to be perfect.
M – this is similar to the metaphor we used to describe our life a few years ago with our first therapist. But we said the field was like the Killing Fields in Cambodia as they are now – it’s lush and gorgeous on the surface, but the unexploded land mines are just under the surface waiting for us to step on.
B – Well OK, I just sat back and observed.
This incident does help us understand why we seem to go in circles with our healing so often. This sort of thinking and conversation all happened at once. Within minutes of the metaphor being mentioned, a field had been created internally and the organisers were drawing up plans for the re-location (of the non-existant gophers). A complication came in when the perfectionists said that no one was allowed to walk on the field because they might make the mess worse.
Ohhh we’re so literal at times!