What metaphors best fit into my life?

Stephen McHugh
This post was last updated on
August 17, 2022
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In my last post, I talked about how it can be difficult for those of us with autism to understand metaphors. In addition, I mentioned that I now find metaphors easier than I used to. Since that last post, I’ve thought about how some metaphorical language linked to nature best matches my life’s experiences on the autism spectrum.  

Nature is one of my interests. Sometimes I like to go to quiet areas, watch, listen to, and appreciate the sights and sounds nature can offer us. This can, I find, get my creative side going from time to time.


At the time of writing this post, it is the Easter season of 2022. Easter is the time when Christians commemorate the rising of Christ from the dead, and light dispelling the darkness.

For me, the way I’ve always looked at this is that it can be a sign of hope that things will improve, and work out for me, especially during times of difficulty and uncertainty.  And from my personal experiences, I’ve encountered plenty of these during my time as a result of being on the autism spectrum.  My faith is very important to me. With great love there are miracles.


Stars and constellations can be used as guides like they can be used by birds migrating to more suitable environments. I also like to sometimes think of shining light as support, like light shining on a path to show us the right way to go, or being shown how to accomplish something.

Trying to reach for the moon and the stars. 

Allowing yourself to set your sights high whilst being realistic about your abilities, going beyond your comfort zone, and believing that you can perhaps realise your true potential. This project in the form of this website I see as a way of being one of those trying to make the world a bit better for those of us on the autism spectrum, which will require more than just web development skills. Other skills may include, to some degree, project management skills.

Climbing a mountain

This would be a task no doubt fraught with all kinds of difficulties, steep faces, rough and uneven terrains, along with the risk of being hit by tumbling stones and rocks. If, and when you reach the top you may well find yourself more appreciative of the views all around. 

Before and around the time of my diagnosis, when I was aged around 7, there were concerns about how my progress would be impacted at school, especially as the work would get progressively harder, and how I’d cope with the demands of secondary education and beyond. 

However, over the years that followed, with support, determination, belief, and hard work, I managed to overcome enough obstacles to progress to the satisfaction of the school teaching staff. Even though I was never exactly top of the class, I can still look proudly upon these achievements.


Seas and oceans

Water is one of those substances which is vital for life. And there is life beneath the waves in the form of fish sea plants, and all kinds of other marine life. With life there is hope. 

What is hidden beyond the horizon? In other words, what surprises could be beyond the horizon? By pushing the boat out towards the horizon we may expand our knowledge, understanding, and experiences. 

Here I like to think about my improvement in my language and general understanding and how it allows me to go out and improve my knowledge further, especially in subjects that interest me along with exploring new horizons.  As a result of this, I have developed an interest in creative writing.  

Here’s an example of short stories  I’ve done.  I have also come up with poems of my own.  I see this project as an opportunity to express myself, and at the same time, improve my communication skills.

And what surprises could lie in the depths below? What spectacular sights, treasures, living organisms, and famous boats are hidden in the depths?  In other words here, you may wonder about what the future holds for you,  for example, any nice surprises like being successful at something in particular.

Sailors who carry out their duties on board boats may encounter stormy seas and oceans and have to try and learn how to adapt as best they can. They may even evolve and become stronger, more knowledgeable, and better prepared for the experiences.

And back on dry land, you may experience testing times in the form of storms too. Storms may only be temporary, but the rains from them provide water for life to develop. The water will support plants in their growth, helping to provide food for the rest of the food chain, including us.  As I said earlier, with life there is hope. 


As my ability to understand language has improved, figurative language like metaphors has become more interesting. Here I was keen to think of what metaphoric language could be used for my personal experiences with autism. These include light being a guide and a sign of hope that things will work out.  Storms I see as being representative of testing times but whilst helping to support life, leading to hope. And like the oceans,  the exploration of our horizons to look for new and interesting opportunities and what the future may hold for us.

Are there any metaphors that mean something to you? Why not let me know in the comments section below.

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