There are certain styles of therapy that rely on story telling and metaphor as an indirect way to impart knowledge from the therapist to the client.
Sometimes life does that all by itself.
Right now I am in the midst of looking for the deeper meaning in an event.
Let me explain.
We have a small city backyard. We’ve divided it in half so that the dogs have their side and the humans have a dog-free side. I have three large hounds who shit two or three times a day. Many times they do this on walks but when the weather is bad they can do it quite frequently in the backyard where we have pea gravel down to aid the process.
The ideal procedure is they go out to crap, I follow them with a rubber glove, pick up the product and dispose of it in a garbage-bagged-lined receptacle placed strategically in the back corner of the yard. Every Monday I take the bag out, seal it tightly, sometimes double bag it and put it out with the city garbage. It is not a bad system.
Alas, life gets in the way.
Now it gets dark much earlier. This time of year it can get quite cold or wet with rain and snow. Skipping a week or even two doesn’t cause a lot of trouble because the receptacle is lined and sealed.
Yesterday I realized I had been procrastinating.
I realized it was time to get the bag out.
Turns out it had been more than a couple of weeks. It was more than three weeks.
The garbage receptacle is not a simple round barrel. It is an ornamental thing designed to look like its wood. It has a lip on the top and a lid with a hinge.
I reached into to get the bag out and realized immediately it was heavy. The unseasonably warm weather had kept its contents from freezing. Much of it had become liquid or sludgy.
The bag ripped in half and sunk to the bottom of the receptacle. I tipped it over but the contents got stuck all around the lip.
I decided I had to go to work and that I would tackle this problem later.
This morning, just now, was later.
I tipped the thing over and about eighty pounds of a congealed peanut-butteresque substance half plopped out and half stuck at the top of the receptacle. I was still in my slippers and barely awake.
I felt a wave of revulsion surge through me followed by panic. I went and got a supply of rubber gloves, a farming shovel, several garbage bags and I did my best to disassociate from my consciousness.
I shoveled and filled 5 garbage bags. I raked the stones to spread the stuff out. I kept at it despite being totally grossed out. I tried to controll my self-talk about what I was doing. In a half an hour I was done. When the weather is warmer I will get the power washer and clean the receptacle thing of the remnants.
Where’s the therapy metaphor?
1. I learned procrastination has it’s consequences.
2. Getting through something takes work even if you don’t want to do it.
3. Denying a problem only makes it worse.
4. Even though you hate addressing something if you keep at it it will get done.
5. Ignoring what your thoughts tell you can be very helpful in accomplishing something.
6. Sometimes even if you want something done and over you have to finish the job by working on it later.
7. Thinking about this problem now may not be pleasant but knowing it is done lessens its effects.
Now if I can only get this stink of my hands.
Which is often metaphorical for the aftermath of dealing with an issue.
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