I’ve been through a lot in my lifetime. You’ve probably been through a lot of challenging things too. That’s just the nature of being a human being who has lived for more than a few years.
Life is messy. None of us get through unscathed. We all collect wounds and scar tissue throughout our lives, be they physical or emotional.
In the first 25 years of my life, I was bullied, the heart was broken, and spent years in unhealthy relationships. I had panic attacks. I tried to kill myself. I experienced bouts of depression, erectile dysfunction, and phases of sexual compulsivity.
Things didn’t just happen to me. I also did things that I wasn’t proud of.
I broke a lot of hearts, made bad choices, suppressed my emotions, and lived out of integrity for years of my life.
And yet, I wouldn’t take any of it back. Not for a single second. Because all of those experiences made me who I am today. More on this soon, but first, a metaphor for life that I absolutely adore.
The Most Valuable Metaphor For Life Ever
Imagine that, when you are born, your life is a large, empty room.
And every single day, square building blocks miraculously drop down from the sky and get stacked in the exact same place, for all of your days on earth.
These building blocks represent the experiences that you go through. Regardless of whether you label them as positive or negative experiences, they are simply experiences. And those experiences keep coming at you, whether you feel ready for them or not.
While the experiences keep coming, early on in life, the foundation isn’t very solid. In fact, it’s just a single, straight pillar, with the surface area of one building block.
Every few years, a large earthquake happens and the building blocks come tumbling down in a big messy heap.
In practical/real world terms, this earthquake could be a devastating breakup, the loss of a family member, or sexual/emotional/physical abuse in a relationship. These earthquakes are often some event that shakes you to your core and causes deep pain, sadness, shame, or grief.
It can feel alarming to go from having been ten building blocks high, to now feeling like you’re starting over from nothing. Your building blocks have scattered and you may feel like you’re back to square one. Which, in a way, you are.
And yet, the building blocks keep descending from the sky, just as they always have. They never stop. And they keep being placed in the exact same spot.
This pattern carries on. The building blocks stack themselves in one place, and infrequent earthquakes keep happening over the course of your lifetime.
Over time, the foundation of the building blocks becomes higher and higher. And you don’t feel each earthquake as much as you used to.