Have you ever tried to bake a loaf of bread with the oven door wide open? Probably not. You know that unless the door is closed the oven won’t get hot enough to bake the dough. This concept also applies to the development of your personality. Without enough “heat” you tend not to change.
Unlike an oven, the “heat” of psychological growth comes from your emotions. They are the fuel of inner transformation. But this fuel can do no work if it is not properly contained and channeled. Like the fire of a locomotive, the heat of your emotions must be concentrated and harnessed. Only when it is guided to the correct outlet, or resolution, do you grow.
Unfortunately, when the tension of your emotions gets uncomfortable, you want to discharge it quickly, but not always maturely. Turning to alcohol or drugs to dampen the intensity of anxiety is an example. Being abusive or abruptly ending a relationship because you are angry with your friend is another. Too often we take shortcuts around unpleasant situations and emotions rather than work through them. When we do this, we sabotage the very opportunities that might help us mature as people. The convenient path is rarely the path of growth. We compromise and stifle our soul by settling for cheap solutions to complex and uncomfortable problems.
Life’s challenges are the oven and you are the bread. Have faith in your process and the values of your soul. Let them lead you through the emotional fires of transformation to a place of deepened integrity and maturity.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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