Updated: Dec 10, 2020
That metaphor of the moon works as a reminder that our difficulties are for a season and will change.
Recently I was reading 'Hope Stands' by Samuel Kee (a great little book giving 10 reasons for people feeling suicidal not to give up). He poses the notion of the moon being a symbol of Hope.
Imagine against a black sky there shines the moon- that giant reflector– promising that although we can’t see it at the moment the sun shines elsewhere on our planet and sooner or later the dawn will come for us too.
That metaphor of the moon works as a reminder that our difficulties are for a season and will change. Often clients will start therapy with an unswerving attachment to the idea that their lives are unanimously and consistently bleak and will go on being so. On closer inspection though, there are fluctuations in mood and circumstance; sometimes within an hour, certainly changes in mood over the day and definitely over a week. So is the client lying? Absolutely not, for some unfortunate reason our minds tend to hang on to the lowest mood (perhaps because the pain of it is so bad, it grabs our attention) and then generalise across time. Perhaps when we feel better, we are just not attending to it – rather we are enjoying the moment. Selective attention!
What we do know is that as sure as the moon and sun are in orbit, that things change and even when its dark there remains the hope of the dawn.
What if you can’t even lift your head to search for the moon? No matter- even a muddy puddle reflects the shining moon. And if the moon can’t be seen? Well, we know it is always there – perhaps shrouded in cloud but ever present.