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The Metaphor that answers the question, "What Am I Here For?" Monday May 9, 2016

I am interested in people – after all, I am one myself! I'm a person, with a person-ality. So are you! And, frankly, you are unlikely to be consciously aware of how you describe yourself and your personality to others. You see, you will use metaphors to describe yourself, your personality and your life.

So let's begin with 'Life'.

How do you see your life? Is it a race? Is it a roller-coaster? Is it a game – perhaps of cards or of chance? Is it a party? Is it a drama? A comedy? A farce?

These metaphors help you find and define your purpose in life.

If your life is a "race", the purpose of life is to win the race in the fastest possible time! You'll discover that you never have enough time because everything is so urgent. You will also need to compete all the time.

If, instead, life is "a walk in the park" – your pace and what you pay attention to will be rather different!

If your life is a "roller-coaster", you won't be surprised when it has lots of ups and downs – in fact you'll be expecting them!

If it's a game of cards or chance, you'll seek to play "the hand you've been dealt" and "take a chance" here and there. Risky? A gamble? Or just fun?

If it's a "party", your purpose will be to enjoy yourself – a life focused on pleasures.

Those of us who describe our lives in dramatic terms, as a comedy, a romance, a farce or even a tragedy, will seek out players to fulfil their roles in our life's drama. We may even be able to discern each Act in the play.

Or perhaps, for you, life is a "battle"? If it is, you will experience conflict everywhere.


Here's a such a poorly kept secret that you know it already: you write the script.

Ergo, you can change the script.

Fancy a change?

Write it into today's script then start using the language of your new metaphor. I'm torn between "A Walk In The Park" and a work of "Romantic Fiction"!

I wish you bonne adventure!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:11am

Very true Lex! I often describe life here as organised chaos when it's far from that and I put myself down describing it that way. Will ponder the new script, thank you! Love ratg X.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:35am

Hi RATG... it's great news that we don't have to write the whole new script at once! I've been playing with the "Walk in the Park" metaphor since I wrote this, and it has been... lovely! Have a wonderful day, L'xx

Zareen Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:40am

Hi Lex, thanks for the blog. I see life as a journey which takes in various terrains & fellow travellers. I know that it may take me a life-time to learn to pace myself but maybe that is where the sense of adventure comes into the equation.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:42am

That's beautiful, Zareen. One where we can enjoy the journey and not get fixated on the destination. May today's adventures be good ones for you! L'xx

Vincent Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:41am

Novel ideas from Lex! I have a question which has little to do with this blog.
That is, you know, there are ten mood state in the test we take every day. I find there are word-pair where two words have very similar meaning. These word-pair are "Afraid-Scared","Ashamed-Guilty","Irritable-Hostile","Jittery-Distressed". My mother mother tongue is not English, so it is very hard for me to find the difference between the two words in each pair. Do you also feel they are similar? Or can you explain the difference between them? Thank you.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:45am

Hi Vincent, I'm sure Caroline will pick up your question. For what it's worth, I believe it is to make sure that you get a fair score. For example, you might not relate to one word particularly well, so the second is like a second reference to a similar state of mind helping the assessment to be accurate. Hope that helps! L'xx

Hopeful One Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:58am

Hi Vincent-I agree with Lex. Choose the word between a pair that most reflects your feeling at that time.

Vincent Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:18am

Thanks, your explanation that a second reference to a similar state of mind helping the assessment to be accurate does make sense.

Vincent Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:23am

I am sorry I made some grammar errors and typos in my question above. I wrote it in a rush today, and I will pay more attention to the grammar.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:39am

Fear not, we are not grammar critics! It is great to hear from you.

Mary Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 10:38am

Hello Vincent - I have been pondering that question too, so it's great to get an answer which makes sense.I agree with you about guilty and ashamed and also Afraid and scared. Hostile for me is not the same as irritable. I think about how I view others from a place of "rest" for the hostile card (before they have irritated me!) and then how I have reacted to irritations (which may or may not be caused by my fellow human beings). For me jittery is how I feel physically - as sometimes I feel as if I have drunk far too much coffee (when I haven't) and other times I feel peaceful. Distressed... for me that's just about how happy I feel, I suppose. I don't know if this helps Vincent - but I really appreciate you raising the question.

Vincent Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:21pm

Mary, I am very happy that I am not the only one pondering this question. After reading your reply above, I realize the difference between Irritable and Hostile, and your interpretation about Distressed and Jittery, one mentally and the other physically, is so clear! Thanks for sharing your opinion with me, it's very kind of you to help me again.

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 10:22pm

Hi Vincent, we agree that there are some of the adjectives in the test that are very similar - the adjectives are taken from The PANAS, a thoroughly validated measure of mood, so they are all meaningful. Sometimes psychological questionnaires ask the same question in different ways if it's important. As Lex says, it contributes to the accuracy of the test. Hope this helps. Kind regards. Caroline

Vincent Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 5:25am

OK, I see. Thank you for replying.

Norman Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 8:27am

Vincent, shame is the fear of being publicly criticised, guilt is about your internal critic. I feel guilty about using Nestlé products because their corporate behaviour violates my moral code, even though most people would not care. Shame is about feeling vulnerable to criticism even though you may not feel that your actions were wrong.

Norman Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 8:27am

Vincent, shame is the fear of being publicly criticised, guilt is about your internal critic. I feel guilty about using Nestlé products because their corporate behaviour violates my moral code, even though most people would not care. Shame is about feeling vulnerable to criticism even though you may not feel that your actions were wrong.

Vincent Wed, May 11th 2016 @ 6:15am

I see, so there does exist difference between this two words. Thank you, Norman, your interpretation is clear enough. Thank you for sharing your idea.

Lou Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:25am

Excellent blog, Lex. I have a tendency to see life as a "To Do" list and act like Alice's white rabbit - always late. I like the idea of "A Walk In The Park" as I have a beautiful park near me that I try and walk round most days but Zareen's 'life as a journey' also strikes a chord. One to think on, but definitely a sign I need to change my script!

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:46am

Happy writing, Lou. Definitely recommending the whole, "Life is a walk in the park" thing! You can have some Park stops on your journey and thus get the best of both worlds/metaphors! L'xx

Lou Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 10:53am

Thanks Lex :)

Sally Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:37am

Excellent blog, Lex. I am guilty of under planning ...then having to rush to the finishing line!
Tough question, that : " What am I here for?" I used to say " to help others" but at my age, 60s, I now feel I have sometimes neglected myself in the equation...
Food for thought indeed, Lex.
Thank you so much.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:49am

With you on that one, Sally. It would be wonderful if more people lived for the "to help others" script... but I'm sure we've both discovered that when it doesn't come back via someone else we can too easily become 'spent'. I don't want to change, but it would be great see more people living a little bit more for others, whilst looking after their own essential needs too. After all, we need fuel if we are to help others on the journey! Have a wonderful day, Sally, L'xx

Hopeful One Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:53am

Hi Lex- an interesting blog. I think what it illustrates is that we think of ourselves as having a 'fixed' personality but as we use your metaphors we realise that in fact we are always changing. Some days our life appears as 'a walk in the park' and other times we 'wish we were somewhere else'.

Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think. One can tell how I see myself.See below.

A farmer and his brand new bride were riding home from the chapel in a wagon pulled by a team of horses, when the older horse stumbled. The farmer said, "That's once." A little further along, the poor old horse stumbled again. The farmer said, "That's twice." After a little, while the poor old horse stumbled again. The farmer didn't say anything, but reached under the seat, pulled out a shotgun and shot the horse. His brand new bride was angry with him and protested telling him, "That was an awful thing to do." The farmer said, "That's once."

LillyPet Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:59am

Not nice HO! (dark humour not for me I guess!) Looking forward to the next chuckle LP :)

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:20am

I laughed! Guess there's a dark side to Lex!

Mary Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 10:42am

Sorry HO - that has to rank as one of my least favourite "jokes" of all time. Maybe I just feel for the poor horse, or my feminist credentials are outraged. It would be really interesting to see if we are split male/female on whether we find this funny or not. (And - btw - just because LillyPet and I don't like it does not mean you should not have told it - so please don't think this is a telling off)

LillyPet Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:07pm

Yep completely! I'd be interested in male female responses too Mary. Some you do some you don't but keep em coming, there have been some gems :)

David Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:15pm

I'm afraid, HO, with the long history of overt male dominance, that 'joke' gives me a bad feeling. I hear a certain type of man telling it to his mates in the pub, eliciting loud guffaws. I think healthy jokes are subversive, but that one is not. The man in the story has the whip hand.

Skyblue Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 1:35pm

Oh NO Ho!! This one is psychotic and woozy-making and not at all funny to me. An anomaly for you! Looking forward to the next one, as usual. xx

Anonymous Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 2:16pm

David. You sound rather lovely. Some of Hopeful One's jokes do veer on the side of anti feminism I sometimes feel and being a woman I do prefer the ones that are gender neutral and are funny only because they tell us about the foibles of being male or female. But Hopeful has explained that it's very difficult to find politically correct jokes. I actually think today's "joke" isn't a joke at all. It's sobering and serious. What does Hopeful One think of it? I am sure you would never have published it, had you thought about it carefully which is probably not possible when giving us a daily joke. Please do carry on with the jokes Hopeful One but maybe take care with the old fashioned stereotyping of women and men. I know I know here we go again.... Julxxx

Hopeful One Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 5:50pm

Hi Guys- Oh my word that sortie seems to have stirred the hornets nest! But that is the thing about jokes. A dispassionate observer will note that the listener's reaction to a joke nearly always reveals more about the listener than one imagines whether they laugh or not.In my recent journal on psychoanalysis for my psychology class I suggested that it was a very under used tool in making the 'unconscious conscious' something Freud believed was the aim of his psychoanalytical model. I do agree though that this one is borderline and at worst bad taste for a public forum. So of course my unreserved apologies to those who found it offensive in any way.Better luck next time.

Anonymous Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:48pm

Hi Hopeful One. I think individual reactions to most things including jokes reveal much about the individual but quite often, more often than not, in a good way. Our reaction to your "joke" today says alot of positive nice things about those who didn't like it. And dare I say it, your reaction to our comments reveals a lot about you. We all appreciate your unreserved apologies Hopeful One, graciously said. And good luck with your exams and have a lovely holiday in Greece. Let us know how it all goes...well the exams anyway!. Jul xxx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 10:32pm

I just felt really sorry for the horse!

Norman Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 8:20am

I agree with David. Most of my friends are female and I can't think of any who would find it funny. The metalanguage of the anecdote is that violence is an acceptable way of enforcing male dominance. Having said that keep them coming HO: you hit more often than you miss!

LillyPet Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 7:55am

Hi Lex,
I love the metaphor about rewriting my script! Mine seems to have been Cinders. I have had an ongoing feeling that my life is not my own, responsibilities to others endless chores, emotionally attacked down trodden by a cruel mother who crops up in different forms as life goes as do horrid step sisters who invade my personal space rubbish me and take what little is mine, with no such thing as a happy ending.
I can see how horribly negative my script is!

At the moment I want freedom, people who treat me as I treat them, a healthy work/chore life/me-time balance.
A home that is organised, clutter free and easy to keep that way.
It feels like I'd need a year just focussing on that to get there. To get from swimming against the tide, to a walk in the park.
Yes I think I'll choose "A walk in The Park" Lex. Ironically I've felt too stuck in not making the time to actually walk in my local park! The fine weather is here, (that monkey chatter "So much else that I MUST do to meet my reponsibilites!" replays as I'm rewriting my script!).

One of my strengths is my determination. Fact. The script is simple and rewritten. It IS a walk in the park because I said so! Sorry peeps (not you guys! The old characters in the old script) I'm off for MY walk in the park!
The reality of now is that my daughter doing A levels stayed up late working, has more to do this morning and has asked for a lift! That walk will have to wait...

Thank you for an enlightening blog Lex. I will keep replacing the old with the new until the new is my reality.

Warm and sunny wishes to all, another summers day ahead in Londinium :) LPxx

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:29am

Oooo, lovin' your response here, LillyPet! And, "Yes!" your strength is your determination... and your choice. The choice is made even if it's deferred today. Get thee to the Park! L'xx

LillyPet Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:03pm

Will do Lexie :) Xx

Jenny Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 9:29am

I used to view life as a precursor to something else, without really ever knowing what that something else was. It always felt like I was waiting for life to really begin so I never really lived in the moment. I guess in part it was because life wasn't panning out the way I wanted it to, I was waiting to feel happier before I invested in life.

Mindfulness has helped me accept the life I have, and to appreciate the little things more. I fell in love with biking a couple of years ago, both mountain and road biking, and now my life feels like a series of mini adventures and journeys. I try to live each one, rather than always looking to the next and the next. So I guess I rewrote the script by seeing that life is what is happening now, not in the past or too far into the future.


Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:27pm

Wonderful, Jen, simply wonderful: "life feels like a series of mini adventures and journeys." Mindfulness has helped so many people so I'm grateful for you raising its value, especially in living in the now. L'xx

Holly Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 9:36am

I love this. I guess my past was a battle, it was a struggle just to keep going. Now, I feel like it's a race, where I don't want to get left behind. But what I really want is a walk in the park. I feel like I've been through a lot in life and have never been able to enjoy or be content with life. Thank you for this blog post, it was really thought provoking! :)

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:31pm

Hi Holly, I loved your response and insight so much, I've just read it out on the show (hope that was OK, it was anonymous!) So, what will it mean for you to be having a walk in the park for the foreseeable future? I'll support you in that ambition! L'xx

Holly Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:57pm

The show, what's that? That's cool, I don't mind at all, I'm pretty open with things when I know I'm anonymous hehe. I think it will mean striking the balance between moving forward, but not rushing (I'm on an, uh, extended gap year, shall we say? I have a degree and want to train as a teacher, but don't feel quite ready, so that's why I rush and am afraid of getting left behind). And knowing that even though I've been through a lot, and it's impossible to escape all of life's stresses, that I will be able to still see the beauty life has to offer. Thank toy for your support :)

Vanda Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 9:53am

Nice one Lex. Funny how we 'know' these things... and need to keep re-remembering these things!
Now I am on a thought quest to have titles to 'label' my mood - so 'Singing in the rain', 'Walking on Sunshine', 'Beautiful day' - happy day today! May it be so for your walk in the park!

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:28pm

I'm seeing it all now, Vanda, "Soundtrack to 'A Walk in the Park' The Musical"! L'xx

Mary Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 10:48am

Very interesting Lex. As so often you have made me think. I have two metaphors. The first one is that life is a rich tapestry. This means that there are many threads, some light and some dark, all woven together in a pattern or picture. We will not see the whole picture in this life. I also think we have a choice as to which thread we will be. I know that I have a thread of two sides, one a rainbow shimmer and one a dark indigo blue. My other metaphor relates to my Christian faith in that I feel this life is a gestation period in which we develop our spirits in order to be born into Heaven (Anyone who wishes to discuss this with me is very welcome just so long as you are not going to cry "heretic and come round to my house with a stake and kindling). With both metaphors I see there is a duty to do and be the best one can - but that duty is also a joy.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:35pm

You know I agree, dear Mary, you know... L'xx

Benjamin Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 12:20pm

Lex, while I agree with the idea that the perception of the role changes the experience of it, I don't agree that we individually write the script. A Syrian refugee, for example, didn't get to choose the time and place of his birth.

Each play, despite having similar macro events, has micro diversity. Shakespeare's plays include characters who are comic despite tragic overall events, for example. Our plays are overlapping, in the sense that each of us is a protagonist, as well as supporting cast in every other drama.

These are just a couple threads to pull on, to explore the complexity of the larger metaphor.

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:34pm

I'm sure we're not far from each other in our understanding, Benjamin. We have our part to play, though we are also a part of other people's narrative... which makes it a lot more complicated. Let's work on the bit we can influence! L'xx

Skyblue Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 1:29pm

Hi lovely Lex, I've always viewed my life as a spiritual unfolding; there is a constant striving and determination to understand and move towards a peaceful place...or perhaps to move back to the place I knew as a child. Lurking negatively there is also a 'Waiting for Godot' kind of script where my niche has never been clearly defined in my own mind. I'm working on ridding myself of that one. Thanks, you're a star. A Walk in the Park is very appealing. xx

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:32pm

See you there, Skyblue, though when you said, "spiritual unfolding" I saw a beautiful piece decorated paper unfolding like an origami message... perhaps there's something in that for you? L'xx

Skyblue Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:54pm

That is a beautiful little gift, Lex. I thank you sincerely. Xx

Anonymous Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 2:24pm

Hello Lex. Now I think about it (you have made me think about it!) I do tend to carry on with the same mind set about myself and my life. I see my problems as an intricate part of me, entrenched in my psyche when in reality I can separate some of these "problems" from me. I need to maybe change the way I see myself and therefore hopefully my life might take on a different path. Food for thought Lex, two Chunky Kit Kats for thought. Jul xxx

Lex Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:31pm

And I believe Kit Kats used to champion the value of taking a break. Chunky Kit Kats must mean a bigger break. Pause, and gain that bit of distance needed to separate the lovely Jules from the problems... and then, from that distance, a new way through the problems may appear. May you see that way. L'xx

Anonymous Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 6:50pm

What a lovely comment Lex. Thank you. I hope your morning radio show went well and you are not too exhausted after your people centered day. Love J xx

The Gardener Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:21pm

Life used to be a roller coaster - amazing ups and downs - times of huge excitement and achievement - some very bad downs - nobody could have written the scenario - it was a case of survinig the worst bits and enjoying the good ones to the full.

The Gardener Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:25pm

Now, it''s the worst of kitchen sink dramas. No drunk on a Saturday night could swear like Mr G has sworn at me tonight. Our UK vet died recently, 86, his last patient, a dog, was brought up to his bed 48 hours before he died. His widow, in tears at her loss at the memorial service, said to our eldest son, thank Mum for her lovely letter - thank God I did not have to go through what she is, I could not have done it. But one does, have to. Comfort, brilliang flowers, and I havve started a bird restaurant in 'new' garden, they are most appreciative. I have also saved some raspberry canes, bet the birds get them before I do.

Leah Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 11:07pm

Gardener, A bird restaurant what a delightful description. I can't think of the right metaphor but you keep on going you have setbacks but you seem to be able too delight in something like birds and flowers and you bring so much wisdom and hope to us all on moodscope. I saw that program on Marilyn a while ago too and it was sad. Take care, Hugs Leah

The Gardener Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 8:52pm

Last night watched 'The final Days' of |Maryline Monroe. what a life - horrendous childhood, to super-stardom - erratic love-life then a lonely death. I never knew she was bi-polar - the narrator said he preferred 'manic depressive' as more descriptivve. Her life? scenario? Meteroric ending in a fireword which burned itself out.

Mary Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 10:36am

I didn't know that Marilyn Monroe was bi-polar either - but it makes sense, doesn't it? It also makes sense to me that when I do the Briggs Meyers I come out as the same as Marilyn (and Elvis). Fortunately I was lucky enough to find my ideal mate in my husband - the type they call the Rock of Gibraltar. He is my sanity. I just wish I knew what I provide for him!

Night Owl Mon, May 9th 2016 @ 11:48pm

Hi Lex, Hi Everyone,
Just whizzed past all the comments, cos I want to say Thankyou Lex!
A really great thought to bear in mind!
Mine is a rollercoaster, or at least that's how I usually label it.
Walk in the Park would be a great life to write... I'll work on that... Am having quite a chilled few days as it happens, so perhaps a good start to a new story!
Take care, All. Wishing you all sweet dreams. NO x

Lex Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 4:31pm

Ah, Night Owl, I hope your dreams were a hoot! Perhaps, for you, a flight oer the park would be exhilarating. Whichever way you travel, I recommend the park, day or night, dark or light, for it is in the garden that we can so easily reconnect with what's important. I wish you success in writing your life. And may I just say I LOVE the ambiguity of the write/right words. Could you and I 'right' our lives by 'writing' our lives? Happy thoughts, L'xx

Eva Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 11:16am

Excellent blog Lex, I live the idea of writing our path... My dream path is to operate in a way that lets me paint to my hearts content without exhausting me.

Lex Tue, May 10th 2016 @ 4:29pm

I love this, Eva. I was meditating on the thought, "where your heart is, there your treasure is." Then I realised (with glee) that "art" is the end of my "heart" - my heart is in art... and we must follow our heart. L'xx

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