I have done many science experiments during the course of my education. Science has been one of my favorites subjects. In fact, I took a career profile assessment when I was in college and I scored very high in two areas, business/entrepreneurship (which is ultimately categorized based on the desire and ability to work independently for the most part) and science. Totally unrelated to this post, though.
Well, there is this one experiment that I remember more vividly than others. I cannot recall what grade it was, but I do believe it was middle school. The instructor would gather all of the children around the black wooden table, and on top of the table there would be a large tub of water, large enough that most of the students could have a clear view of the water inside the tub. Next to the tub there was a small bucket filled with random small objects: die, ball, feather, foam letter, magnet, feather, coins. Lots of objects made of various materials.
Our instructor would ask each of the students to pick an item from the bucket and hold it in their hand. Once all of the students had their object, she’d call each one by name and ask them to drop their item into the tub of water. But, before she asked them to drop it in, she’d ask the entire class, “Will it sink or will it float?” Everyone would yell out various answers all at once. Then she’d say, “Let’s see.”
Everyone should have a metaphor for their life; this one is mine. For me, this metaphor is about forgiveness and letting go. When I’m faced with something heavy in my life, I ask myself, “Will this sink me or will I float?” And if it is heavy, more than likely it definitely will not float.
The student then drops the item into the tub of water. If the object, for example, is a coin, it will sink, on the other hand if it is a rubber ball, it will float. Of course we all know, objects that float stay on top of the water while those that sink go down to the bottom. If you didn’t already know that, you should definitely try this experiment, it’s really fun. If you’ve ever done this experiment, you will notice there is no in between. Some may sink faster than others, regardless of such, all the heavier objects will eventually sink. There is one other type of object I noticed during this experiment. Now, this is one to consider; a cotton ball. Initially placed into the water, this object would float but once it had absorbed the water to capacity, it slowly, but surely began to sink.
For me this represents the need to not only forgive but to also let go. Because if you do not let go, you will be consumed and you will eventually sink. Losing a parent, going through a divorce, and literally being thrown out into suddenly having to parent alone with a second child all within a six month period, that is some heavy stuff. Not to mention the anger, the resentment, the regret, embarrassment, confusion and guilt that comes with the territory. You certainly MUST take the time to reflect; and ask yourself will it sink or will it float? It won’t be easy but it is indeed necessary because eventually simply floating will not suffice. You will want to fly.
What is your life metaphor? It could be an experiment,an experience, a quote, or anything.