Friday, August 14, 2009

Emotion Is A Drunk Driver.

I tell my sponsees: "Emotion is an impaired driver. Don't let it get behind the wheel."

Never have I sat and reasoned things out with my sponsor or a program friend, prayed and meditated, then made a decision, and acted, only to feel the same regret and remorse I've felt about choices made while emotion was driving me.

When in the grip of emotion, our thinking is distorted, our judgement is clouded, and we can feel an almost overpowering need to "do something about it," in the mistaken belief that doing something will relieve the uncomfortable feeling, and balance will be restored.

I'll never forget sitting in a meeting many years ago, hearing a woman speak about walking out on her husband and infant daughter when in the grip of a strong emotion, and then never being able to find her way back, and when the emotion subsided, also never being able to understand what was so terrible that she discarded all that mattered to her, in service to the feeling she had at that time. It was eerie, listening to her speaking with mystification about a choice she herself had made.

I've thought of her many times since, when I've been feeling flung about by emotion, and it has helped me to wait out whatever it is, without taking any impulsive action. The longer I'm in program, the less I trust those emotions as chauffeurs, even if they are wearing the correct uniform, peaked cap and all, and stand holding the door of the vehicle open for me, inviting me to enter, so they can drive me away.

Gods sends us teachers when we need them most. That woman taught me to refuse the ride when emotion is the driver. I don't kid myself with little rationalisations about "We're only going for a scenic drive, and then we'll be right back." Sometimes those scenic drives end in us never making it back home.
Don't get into that car.


  1. Good Advice. I am always getting into trouble because I am so spontaneous. That's not a bad thing except when it comes to my mouth! It seems I'll never be able to stop from saying more than I should. Sigh!jeNN

  2. Great post. I have acted impetuously in the past. And I've regretted it.