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Emotional File Folders

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  • August 4, 2003 /
  • by Stonebriar Counseling Associates /
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Within each person lies a plethora of emotions and experiences. Depending on the level of commitment regarding how the individual seeks to bring resolution to unpleasant emotions and experiences will inevitably determine whether he/she carries “emotional file folders” deep inside. In other words, there is a wealth of emotions buried deep within each human being. Just the basic linguistic representation of biblical words and their structural perspective in the New Testament demonstrates that the general meaning of such words as καρδια, νοϋς, διάνοια, φρήν, γνώμη, and φρόνησις, relate to the mind and inner seat of one’s feelings.1 Depending on how much the individual is still carrying such feelings as anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, etc., will determine their emotional health or instability. In Genesis 4: 7 (“…sin is crouching{i.e. waiting or lurking} at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”) and Ephesians 4:26 (“…do not let the sun go down on your anger.”), the biblical authors write about how 1 Silva, M. Biblical Words and Their Meaning. Grand Rapids: MI., Zondervan. 1983, p. 95. emotions held inside could lead to an unpleasant consequence. Occasionally, unresolved emotional file folders lead to depression from the depletion of certain neurological transmitters called serotonin, endorphins, acetylcholine (Ach), norepinephrine, and dopamine. I have seen in my practice, individuals who have harbored anger for so many years they eventually contracted serious illnesses and diseases. One client is presently on dialysis due to the anger that he has been harboring for 10 years against his wife. I have known other clients who have suffered from heart and respiratory conditions due to long-term bitterness that they have kept inside after someone has deeply hurt them. From both a biblical and physiological standpoint, the fact remains that there is a direct corollary between harboring unresolved emotions and the consequences that play out into the lives of people. While emotional file folders are no respecter of persons-single or married-the level of intensity is increased when emotional disconnectedness takes place within a relationship. However, in the context of a married couple, the following excerpt will demonstrate a pattern of how an individual’s emotional file folder leads to marital discord.

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