The dictionary meaning of the word METAPHOR is a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else.
We hear people say ‘’ it is a lump in the throat’’ while explaining a pain. We hear people say ‘’a bullet train coming towards me’’ while explaining a fear.This is nothing but a metaphorical explanation of an experience. In reality, there is no lump in the throat or a bullet train coming towards anyone, but mere words representing their reality.
Recently, someone asked me about my spiritual connection, and I said, ‘’a tree in the jungle’’. This statement was a metaphor.
While describing, I told, the tree in the jungle is grown from a small seed and becomes a strong, big tree with nature’s support.
Nobody really takes care of it, but it grows. This is a spiritual connection for me because it represents the design of the nature. It is a spiritual connection for me, when I walk in the woods and see big trees, there are a lot to learn and explore in the nature. Be it birds, be it rivers, be it mountains.
In order to summarize my experience of spiritually – I used the phrase ‘’a tree in the jungle’’. This is an important aspect of NLP learning. Experienced NLP teachers teach us the importance of understanding metaphors. The metaphors in turn will help us to understand our life. Most of the times fears are represented using metaphors – the more we understand the metaphor, the more we understand the fear, the more we understand the fear, the faster we realize there is no real fear, other than imaginary ones.
NLP is a study of subjective human experience…hence understanding Metaphor is vital. As you may know, NLP is the study of human experience and our experience often described through metaphors.
Here are some of the beautiful metaphors poets used to describe life.
Life is like a seed. It will never grow unless planted and nourished. This might give us the idea about the poet’s mindset. He believes in growth and nurturing. Life is like a river. With all its bends and rapid falls, one must follow the right path or else you’ll lost your way to the sea . This metaphor gives the idea about flow of life, the ups and downs of life and the uncertainty of life. Life is like a box of chocolates. You’ll never know what you’re going to get. It is the sweetness and uncertainty life can offer, the mindset of the poet represents positivity and awareness of uncertainty in life.
The exciting part of NLP study is , understanding each person involved in this study – he uses symbols, metaphors, language patterns to represent his life. The more we understand the metaphors and symbols, the better we understand the individual .