A few days ago I was meeting with one of my mentors, Dr. Amy Frew, who I lovingly refer to as the metaphor genius. She has the ability to turn the smallest item or the biggest flop into some sort of profound idea.
A few days ago we were meeting and she introduced me to an intervention that included ice. Sitting at a table Amy instructed me to begin building a tower out of ice cubes she had just popped out of the freezer. I knew it was not going to work, but anxious to learn the metaphor I attempted to balance the cold cube on top of the other watching it slide off the side each time. We stopped to chat for a minute and then I began to try again. All of the sudden I was able to stack those two ice cubes but I was able to add a third. The ice cubes had melted slightly which allowed the cubes to stick together.
I am sure some of you probably saw that coming, you were able to see the science and knew it just needed some time before the water would help it stick. However, don’t let the logic get in the way of the metaphor. The simple explanation is that “sometimes we have to melt before we can stick together.”
In a world where we value the ability to be strong, hold back tears and keep it together at all times we are missing the piece that truly allows us to heal and to connect. You have to feel sad to move on, feel the hurt to make it stop and share your fears for them to go away. You have to melt before you can rebuild.
I played with the ice again today. I allowed the ice to melt, even using salt to help it along, and began stacking. My competitive nature leaving me determined to go higher than three cubes. The ice cubes slipped and slid, I got a little frustrated, my fingers were pruning and my whole body was getting cold but I finally got the 4th one to balance. I felt so accomplished that I forgot my hands were dripping and starting to feel a little numb.
It was cold, it was messy and it was hard, but the end result was completely worth it.