The Flooded River of Emotions

Last night was beautiful; perfect for a stroll down to my favorite spot. As I looked down from my bench at the Cumberland, I noticed that the current was stronger than normal. I noticed the noise of the water rushing past was louder than usual. I looked closer and noticed that the water level was much higher than other nights. So much so that there was a few feet of river water on the lower level of the pier! The river was overflowing. As I sat watching this sight and eating my delicious ice cream cone, I began to think about all the evenings that the river inside my heart is overflowing.

My heart’s emotions have been incredibly strong over the last several months for obvious reasons. Sometimes the current is too strong to properly navigate. Sometimes I try and dam it up (that works wonderfully as you might imagine). Sometimes, though, I embrace the flow and learn to let go. I am learning that many times my emotions are at a state of overflow and that is exactly what needs to happen.


A vital part of my recovery has not only been the process of learning to let go and feel emotion again, but to learn how to pinpoint which emotions are my “go-to’s” meaning which ones have I gravitated toward in the past. Like the Skywalkers, my main emotion I feel is fear. It is far and away my default emotion if I am dealing with any discomfort or pain. Specifically I express a fear of getting hurt. I am deathly afraid of being rejected or failing or not measuring up to expectations. So instead of processing that emotion in a healthy way, I have medicated that emotion with lust. If I cannot medicate, that same fear turns to rage so that I can control my environment.

Recently at a SA meeting, a regular attender posed the question, “Is it possible to feel several emotions at once?” And if so, is that a good thing or bad thing. He concluded that he believes its good and I fully agree. When people ask how I’m feeling, it can be a very difficult question to answer accurately.

If I were totally truthful an answer could possibly look like: “Well right now I am feeling a lot of sadness and guilt and in the midst I feel joy. I feel fear as I always do that people are judging me and looking down on me but I am assured of my salvation and that God will never leave me.” I can feel all those things in a brief moment!

The human heart is pretty amazing. Open the flood gates…



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