Emotions part 1: transition from a hot potato to a mountain

Life has been pretty crazy lately, between family things going on, full-time school, full-time wife, pregnant and sick. Over the past 2 weeks, or so, God has been teaching me a whole new aspect of emotions.
As I was writing this post I realized it’s quite long and there’s actually different sections and pieces to what I have been learning. I decided I will do my first ever mini blog post series!!! So stay tuned this week for my recent thoughts on emotions and all the things I have been learning!!!
Here’s part one 🙂

I woke up on a Sunday morning and there wasn’t any milk in the fridge. This small thing triggered so much anger inside of me. I have pretty much been angry ever since. I have tried to use my therapy DBT skills, skills I learned during School of Ministry but nothing has worked. These emotions aren’t like the kind of emotions that you experience during the beginning of your recovery.

In recovery emotions are like a hot potato and you just want to get rid of the potato. If you hold onto the hot-potato

potato for too long, you will get burned. With DBT skills, the whole goal is to lower your intensity levels so you can return to wise mind and work through the trigger.

With the angry I have felt, and now sadness the past few days, I haven’t been able to lower my intensity levels to return to wise mind to work through the emotion. I am trying to toss this hot potato but it feels like its super glued to my hand and the emotion won’t change.
BUT then I noticed something, the potato won’t leave my hand (the emotion isn’t changing or budging) but my hand ISN’T burned.

With my recovery if I held on to an emotion of anger, I would be cutting myself within an hour. With this emotion of anger, it has been days but hasn’t changed my quality of life or overall mindset.
God has been showing me a new point in a recovery!!!!!! A point I was never aware of.
You get to a point where instead of needing to change your emotions quickly so that something awful doesn’t occur, you actually need to embrace the emotion. And through the embracing you actually grow and learn something about yourself. You get to a point where you are bigger then the emotion and the emotion doesn’t define your mental state or actions.

Emotions transform from this hot potato that you need to get ride of, into this beautiful mountain. No matter how much you try, you are not going to be able to physically move the mountain. Instead of being afraid of the emotion or spending a lot of energy trying to move the emotion, embracing it will be easier. I love going for a short drive and looking at the mountains in Colorado. I love talking a deep breath of mountain air and truly embracing the beauty and the work of God that I am blessed to be living in. Once you embrace the emotion you actually relax and calm down and breathe deeper then you could before. That’s what happens when you start to embrace the mountain view. You can even do that with this picture and get the same feeling.
Moraine_Lake_17092005

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss the importance of the shift in recovery and why the change in response to emotions is important.

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