Dead Snakes and Other Metaphors.
Good Day everybody! We hope you had a marvelous Father’s Day. For those of you who avoided the festivities because of serious Daddy issues, you have come to the right place! We will continue our therapy discussion this week since there just isn’t enough bytes in our computer to express the need for this in our world. Call us whatever you like (hippy, tree-hugging, kool aid drinking, therapy drones just to get you started) but we strongly recommend therapy for everyone.
Lee says: In the movie ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’, there is a scene near the beginning of the film where the director shows a small boy walking through the plains of Africa. Cut to a scary snake waiting on the same plains. The audience gets the feeling that the kid is oblivious to this very obvious danger. As the boy approaches the serpent, the audience clenches waiting for the disastrous meeting. As they appear on screen together, without missing a step the boy reaches down to the snake, grabs him and bashes him against the ground then flings him to the side leaving him dead. The reaction is stunned laughter but a deeper understanding is such a powerful therapeutic metaphor.
A therapeutic metaphor is an experience that someone has that allows them to learn about themselves (or for mentally ill cows to graze in! Shout out to Sister Mona!). This metaphor shows how we can believe that a situation is dangerous because of our understanding, even though most people in this world have not come face to face with a cobra. The boy is quickly elevated to this special position of ‘badass’ and ‘superhero’. Yet, for the boy, his understanding is different. In fact, the boy sees the experience as commonplace and benign where we see it as scary and dangerous. This is exactly like therapy.
People who have never experienced being in therapy will often express fear of the unknown and in many cases, completely dismiss the use of it. It is scary to jump into the unknown. I promise that you are making it scarier than it really is. Therapy is a conversation without barriers (in the ideal scenarios). Think of a drunken rant but put it in comfy chairs with a person taking notes and no booze. The more open and honest you are the easier it is and it can ultimately be enjoyable.
As for the people who dismiss the need or those who ridicule people who do avail themselves of therapy, all I have to say to you is ‘I’m sorry’. I’m sorry your Mom and Dad didn’t teach you anything better. I’m sorry that you haven’t been happy in your lifetime. I’m sorry that your feelings are probably sequestered behind your stoic walls of denial and only the negative things like anger and hate penetrate them. I’m sorry that your only amusement is making fun of those people working at living a more fulfilling life while you fester in your past shame. I’m sorry that you are wound so tight the slightest ruffle to your schedule can send you into a tirade that makes Alec Baldwin sound like a saint. I’m sorry you just don’t get it and I pray that someday you will.
It’s not about willpower. It’s not about ‘just get over it’ (although sometimes it actually is). It’s not that therapy only works for some people. Everyone can find benefit in therapy and the idea that some people get to soar and experience their feelings fully makes this all unfair to me. I guess I’m trying to start a therapy revolution. I’m committed to tearing down those walls and getting people to live more fulfilling lives. I want people not be afraid of the cobra in the road and just walk up to it, grab it and snap its fucking neck!
Paul says: At this point I can say that I have snapped a few necks, metaphorically speaking. In all honesty, I hate it every time that I go in and, like so many things in life, come out happy that I had the balls to do it. Think of it like having sex for the first time; kind of scary but feels so good. And with both therapy and sex when I’m done, I sleep so well (and need a snack).