Turn a Challenge Into a Sweet Metaphor

A pair of eagles flying over the tree tops.

Let’s pretend you have a couple, Dick and Jane. They have their differences, like any couple.

Let’s say in a moment of high tension, Jane doesn’t know how to reconcile one of these differences, where she might like to be out in the world more than Dick.

Sometimes in these inner reconciliations, the trick is to accept the differences, even when you can’t believe someone else doesn’t want to experience the world YOUR way which is, of course, the best and only way among rational people, at least just one way to do things.

So  Jane decides to release her frustration and writes about it, which she often does in email fyi, in a sort of fast free-write loose poem-y kinda thing. And to her rescue--a storified metaphor.

i am the eagle who wants to spread her wings and fly over neighborhoods for miles and hours

he is the domestic bird, a robin, who hops around the neighborhood exploring, poking around, but just adventuring from tree to tree

when i put it that way he sounds adorable

i sound highfalutin and while eagles are magestic and all they seem like they'd make difficult and selfish friends

hey--i like bopping around the neighborhood, too!

In about one minute, Jane sees Dick and herself in a new light.

The metaphor creates distance as well as a fun image.

Try it

If you feel frustrated about something, sit down and write out in sentences how you see the situation. To create metaphors, or story images, you can start each sentence with a phrase like:

"Let's pretend..." "It's a bit like ...." "I feel like ..." (and try to use concrete words and nouns instead of abstractions) "Once upon a time ..."

See what kind of surprise you can write for yourself. Sometimes writing is the best key out of the prison of self.

Chirp chirp!