Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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The recent wet weather and resultant flooding have forced many people to leave their homes and find shelter elsewhere. Some, I suppose were fully aware of the risk of flooding and may have been, at least partly, prepared for it. But for most it will have been completely unexpected and been a huge shock.
Feeling secure in our homes is very important to us – feeling safe is a big part of what makes a house into a home, I think. And that’s about emotional safety as well as physical safety, of course. Ideally, home is a place where we can be ourselves, there is no need to put on an act, we can relax completely.
We are never 100% safe, of course. We can avoid living in an area that is likely to flood, or is near a live volcano, or in an earthquake zone, but fire, or robbery, or a stray meteorite can still shatter our safety. If a random disaster chooses to strike us, we can no more prevent it than King Canute could hold back the tide.
Nor can we ever be entirely safe emotionally. We can build up our defences to keep ourselves safe from a flood of emotions, but there is always the possibility that these defences can be broken – the weight of our emotions can be too great, even for the highest flood barrier.
Water naturally drains away into rivers and the sea, and most of the time this natural drainage mechanism is good enough to deal with the volume of rainfall. If we were to block the rivers, we would need to find an alternative route for the waters. Similarly, if something annoys you, and you bite your tongue about it, you may feel the need to release the anger you’ve held in, perhaps by taking some exercise, or by talking to someone else about it – you find an alternative route for your anger, rather than hold it in.
Without some sort of outlet, we cannot hold the waters in indefinitely – eventually the volume of water will overflow the dam – and there will be flooding. And if we try to hold our emotions in completely, not giving them any release, they will eventually build up to the point where they flow out uncontrollably – perhaps a sudden outburst of anger, floods of tears, or a panic attack.
I doubt whether, however advanced our future technology may become, we will ever fully become masters of our own environment – the volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami – and the weather. The forces of nature seem just too powerful for us to conquer. So too our emotions. However hard we may work to keep them under control it is always going to be a battle – a lifelong struggle. Better, surely, to make allow them to express themselves in an appropriate way – better not block all those rivers or the flood will be disastrous.