Oh you should have heard Mr Les Muppet’s reverberating laughter exploding in my head Wednesday night after publishing that days post publicly on Facebook!
Pretty sure he wet his pants from laughing at me so hard, ran out of breath mid cackle, fell off the club lounge all blue faced and hit his head on the coffee table rendering him unconscious for a number of hours blanketed by the old mags knocked off the table as he face planted the floor.
Well, that’s what I like to think happened to him… things did go quiet up there in the noggin for a while Wednesday night… after the perspiration and hot flushes subsided from hitting the publish button.
(If you have no idea what I am going on about you best have a squiz here.)
That’s pretty normal for me though when I feel like I’m ‘exposing’ myself. I mean it’s not as if I’m writing about fictional stuff here… there is some pretty random shit swimming around in my think tank upstairs and I’m often looking over my shoulder for the men in white coats to show up and cart me away once those thoughts have been thrown to the cyber worlds four winds.
As stated on Wednesday (regardless of my stiff neck and sore shoulder from said checking of approaching men in white; with pearly whites; carrying jackets of white) I have returned today to share one of my favourite ACT metaphors called ‘The Life Bus Metaphor’… well it’s actually called ‘The Passengers on the Bus Metaphor’ but I call it ‘The Life Bus Metaphor’ because I’m confusing like that!
In this version he is talking with someone whose value is about ‘being well-educated’.
Here it is…
Suppose the thoughts and feelings that seem to stand in the way of you pursuing goals that you value are like the rowdy, uncooperative, and ill-mannered passengers on a bus you are driving. There may also be pleasant passengers on the bus too, but let’s talk about how you respond to the unpleasant ones, because they seem to be the ones who give you the hardest time. Now notice that, as the driver of the bus, you get to choose where the bus is going and how to get there. But if you steer the bus in the direction you want to go in, this may not sit at all well with some of the passengers.
You said you value being well-educated. Let’s imagine that, as you’re driving along in the bus, you come to a fork in the road with a sign that points left to “being well-educated” and points right to “doing something else.” As you begin to turn to the left, the passengers start to raise holy hell. They begin berating, questioning, and criticising you: “Why are we going this way? You don’t know what you’re doing! You’re not smart enough! You’ll get us all lost! This is a waste of time!” and so on. Let’s look at your options here. One choice is to simply keep going in the direction of being well-educated, but the passengers may become even more demanding and obnoxious. If that’s part of the package – to go in the direction you want to go in – are you willing to have those passengers go along for the ride?
Another option would be to stop the bus and try to bargain with the passengers. For example, you might try to persuade them to get off the bus. But there are more of them than you, and what if they defiantly say, “We ain’t gettin’ off and you can’t make us!”? I suppose you can try and strike another type of deal with them by telling them that no one is going anywhere until they shut up and start behaving themselves. Notice, though, who now has the power to determine whether or not you get to go where you want to go. What if they never shut up? Are you willing to spend the rest of your life stuck along the side of life’s highway?
I suppose a final option is to turn right – in the direction the passengers insist upon – instead of left in the direction that you value. Doing so would probably placate the passengers for at least the time being. But what would you be giving up in the process? Would what you might gain – some short respite from thoughts and feelings you don’t like – be worth the cost of heading off in a direction the gets you further away from, rather than closer to, what matters most to you in life? The choice is yours. How are you going to respond to the passengers on your bus?
So there you have it!
That’s how the wheels go ’round on ‘The Passengers on the Bus’ Metaphor.
Did any of it resonate with you?
How do you respond to the passengers on your bus?