What’s In a Metaphor?

Twyla Tharp writes in her book, The Creative Habit, about metaphor. “Metaphor is our vocabulary for connecting what we’re experiencing now with what we have experienced before. It’s not only how we express what we remember, it’s how we interpret it – for ourselves and others.” Up to this point in my life, I would have been inclined to say that I don’t use metaphors often but, upon reflection, I’m finding they run rampant in my conversations. Just recently, I was confiding to a friend about my sense of being “out of control”…how I felt like I was “caught in a whirlpool in the Bermuda Triangle.”  Metaphor! It gave me pause. My chest was constricted, I was feeling scared and small. When I thought about the emotion tied up in that metaphor, I was taken back to a forgotten memory of being on an inflatable raft in the waters outside of Leme Beach and being pulled out by an undertow current when I was a child. What a powerful connection.

I’m paying attention these days to my words. To discover the hidden gems hidden in my metaphors. The memories that drive my reactions. The voices of authority that stop me in my tracks. The list goes on. The pIMG_1823oint is to bring the emotions behind the metaphor into the light and choose whether I want to keep carrying them forward. Instead of harboring the fear of drowning, I’m focusing on the relief and joy of getting my feet firmly planted in the sand. I did survive. Instead of stopping what I’m doing like a guilty child, I’m choosing to stand in my own power. What are your metaphors telling you? What will you keep and what will you let go? That’s the amazing thing, we have a choice. Choose what is best for you.

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2 thoughts on “What’s In a Metaphor?

  1. What a beautifully-worded post! And the second time in a week I’ve been reminded to rephrase a feeling-memory-belief so it better serves me. Thank you!

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