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As a recovering alcoholic for a number of years, I can Identify with the absolute necessity for counseling. In retrospect, my drinking was but a symptom. Using the analogy of an iceberg, my drinking was 10% of the problem. The more I drank, the deeper i buried my feelings. The more I tried to escape, the sicker I became.
Through the Grace of God, I have sobriety and my life back. The number one requirement of this fantastic journey of recovery was the necessity of getting honest with myself, another trusted person, and God. That means getting honest with all of my feelings. Feelings are just that, they are feelings. They are an indication of what is going on with me. If I was angry with someone, I had to be honest about it. “I am angry at —” I used to tell myself, “If I was a good moral Christian, I shouldn’t be feeling that way. God would not approve of it.” In other words, it would be a “sin” to feel that way.
Until I become honest with myself, I could not heal. I can not heal if I do not acknowledge it first.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the importance of emotional healing! I agree with you that the number one requirement of the journey toward sobriety (and healing) is getting honest with ourselves, another trusted person, and with God. It is interesting that we tend to hide our feelings especially from God – as if He doesn’t already know what’s going on in our lives. In the beginning of our journey toward wholeness, getting honest is probably one of the hardest things to finally be willing to do. But, as you said, it is the number one requirement on the journey toward recovery. The journey is incredibly hard at times, but the rewards are more than worth all that it costs. The words of Jesus seem fitting: “The truth will set you free.”