The colossal sluicing machine roared intimidatingly to life as it began to angrily swallow up an endless stream of boulders and dirt. As acres of fresh and fragile Yukon land were being washed down the gargling throat of this massive behemoth, its stomach thundered and groaned as the large stones crashed and tumbled away from the sediment. The remaining muddy mixture oozed out of the thin slits on the surface of its rotating and quivering stomach. At the very bottom of its collection bin gleamed tiny speckles of gold that would eventually be sifted out.
Even though everything looked perfectly fine on the outside, the unsuspecting gold miners were completely oblivious to the fact that their hulking beast had unknowingly acquired a crippling Achilles’ heel. For some of the large bulky stones had completely crashed and cracked some of the gears inside the steel stomach. And because of this problem, this powerful sluicing machine was rendered incapable of churning and processing the endless streams of pay dirt that was being mercilessly poured down its gullet. Not only was there a lack of gold being extracted from the pay dirt, but eventually the machine overheated, coughed out his final plume of black smoke, and broke down completely.
This same fate can also happen to us when we lose our ability to process our everyday experiences. If we are constantly consuming high volumes of stimulation, information, and complicated life events, we also need to prioritize processing all of this as well. But if we never take time to go for a reflective walk, engage in a meaningful journaling session, or process our experiences through a conversation with a trusted friend or a counselor, we end up feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. Without time to process, we will never be able to sift out and gather any nuggets of value or meaning from our experiences. And eventually we will also break down and become dysfunctional as well.