Metaphors, at their best, are actually physics patterns!
Everything is governed by the laws of nature/physics/God/reality (of which we humans only have a very small understanding, of course), so no matter how “soft” the science gets, even to the point of being highly emotional art and spirituality, it’s still all absolutely defined by a physics equation. That equation is very, very likely fractal.
Which is why one can look at a surfer being sucked under an ocean wave and liken it to a human living through the flow of a trauma in their social environment. The “metaphor” is just a more general pattern of the fractal, which appears at many different levels of the whole pattern, with only small differences in the details.
The metaphor — fractal pattern — holds up at a general level, and only breaks apart at the tiny details. Most of the time, in general, the mataphor/pattern will be useful enough for our needs, as long as we remember to leave some wiggle room on the edges for the unique little fractal bits to do their thing.