Sunday, February 22, 2009

A slow fade

I was recently at a water of those fun ones with water spurting out of all sorts of places, hoses to spray, slides to slurp down on, and a lazy river to float on. There was a large bucket at the top of one of the roofs of the play structure and I would look on it for several minutes at time. At first nothing happened as it would fill with water--it was a laaaaarge bucket, and so nothing happened for what seemed like a long time.

And then, almost imperceptibly, it would start to tile
just barely
to the side.

and if one watched very carefully, one could see
a very gradual
increase to the tilt.

and if one continued to watch,
for longer
the tile would increase
and the rate would get faster

and, all of a sudden,
the bucket would rapidly tilt,
and the large bucket would dump
A LOT of water
on whomever was below.

Quite a lot of fun to watch new unsuspecting water park patrons get doused.

The slow filling, slow tilting and sudden dumping of this bucket was rather mesmerizing for some people (including me).

As a therapist, I am plagued with seeing metaphors in life...and this was a powerful one. I work with clients who
are horrified to find themselves "suddenly" in a very difficult place in a marriage,
are reeling from being caught in a longstanding behavior that they've always struggled and been ashamed of themselves
are kicking themselves for neglecting a relationship with a child because of all the many times when "just this once" they needed to attend to something else that felt like it needed to take priority

It reminded me of a song I've heard by Casting Crowns, "It's a Slow Fade", some of which goes like this:
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade

Reminds me of the principle of "presence"...being aware in the moment of what is happening at all levels inside of you and in your environment. It's so easy to "give in" to something when it is dissonant with our values and with what we want, as we mindlessly do what is easy instead of what is valued. And the song is right...a price is paid.

The bucket dumps all at once...but it fills slowly. Are you aware of, and do you approve of what is going in the bucket of you?

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