Driving in a Storm

We often use another metaphor that has helped many individuals work with difficult sensations (i.e., pain), demanding thoughts, or challenging emotions in an active/engaged manner. This metaphor is called: Driving in a Storm.

Imagine you are driving on a road in the middle of a dark raging storm with thunder, lightning, and rain creating very limited visibility.


Your goal is to get to a place that is less stormy, and you have a few options to get you there.


  1. You can put all your focus solely on the storm with no regard to where you are driving full speed
  2. You can respect and pay attention to the storm, but choose to slow down and shift your focus on different road indicators and landmarks to guide your driving.




Many people would easily choose the second option as it is understood to be the safer route. Focusing solely on the storm and just wishing it away would likely end with you getting stuck in a ditch and going nowhere. By choosing to look for different road indicators and landmarks while still acknowledging and respecting the storm, you will find that you can slowly move yourself in the direction you want to go and reach a location that is less stormy.


Now, what happens if the storm you are dealing with is occurring inside your body? Would you still select the same option?


For us, the storm may represent pain, difficult emotions, and/or flooding of thought. Whereas helpful indicators are non-painful sensations such as tension, stiffness, temperature, or any other useful sensation in a body part. It could also show up as emotions which clarify important relationships or situations in our life that need attending to, or it may be other thoughts that are hidden and/or ignored.


Instead of trying to force or wish away your own internal storm, it may be more helpful to open yourself up and make room for other sensations, thoughts, and emotions. By doing so, you may just find some helpful indicators for the directions you need to take to keep you on the road safely rather than getting distracted with your own storm and finding yourself stuck in a ditch.

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