I always loved this metaphor, and it’s proving true this March with snow, sleet, angry winds and freezing temperatures sweeping across most of the United States.
The metaphor also fits our transformation in the recovery process, specifically as it applies to rediscovering our identities.
We begin our journey as stubborn, prideful and roaring lions. We’re angry and frustrated and determined to get back to who we were before the sociopath entered our lives.
We miss that person we were before. We want that person back. We’re pissed. We repeatedly scratch and claw to find that person.
In our angry and prideful lion state, we fail to see that the person we were before…that person is gone.
Because we are the stream and the stream is forever flowing. With or without the sociopath, we would have continued to change.
But the sociopath was an uncontrollable storm and our banks washed away in the flood.
To rebuild after the flood, the lion is of little use. Roaring isn’t action, and we recognize the need to take action.
Enter the gentle lamb that tenderly and compassionately envelopes us in its warm and cozy coat.
It’s in the safety and protection of this coat that we begin assessing the damage to our banks.
At first, we think, “Oh, shit. There is no way I will ever be able to repair this damage.”
This self-defeating thinking stalls our progress. We aren’t interested in finding any sandbags and rebuilding our foundation. We’d rather wallow in self-pity and weakness.
So we do. And we continue wallowing. We continue getting weaker, despite that warm coat that blankets us.
Soon, the continual self-pity tarnishes our coat, and we become disgusted with ourselves, and we say to ourselves, “This is NOT where I want to be. I do not want to be this pathetic.”
But then we find we’re stuck again!! We have no idea where to begin; on which bank should we start?
After stalling a bit longer, we finally just pick a bank and begin the repeated and arduous chore of carrying and dropping sandbags, carrying and dropping sandbags, carrying and dropping sandbags.
It seems like forever, but we finally begin to see progress. The rain comes on occasion, but it’s more of a drizzle and less of a storm.
Our banks are tested, and our sandbags hold.
We’re overjoyed, and our confidence and determination builds. We pick up another sandbag and drop it and another and another.
Soon, the damage to our banks is much less noticeable to ourselves and others who happen to be walking by.
“Lookin’ good over there! Do you mind if I have a closer look?”
And we begin to welcome people to our banks again. We trust the work we’ve done will hold up…and it does!… and our confidence slowly returns.
We start catching glimpses of ourself. We barely recognize what we’re seeing. But surprisingly, we’re not repulsed. We’re relieved. It’s like our best bits have been enhanced and our worst bits are barely visible.
Our confidence, love and compassion continue to grow, and we lap up the clear waters of our stream like thirsty and growing lambs should.
We’ve been reborn. The universe awaits!
(Image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/297308012871018357/)