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1,240-word article. Written by Ma’at Seba, founder and facilitator of RELATIONSHIP FIRST AID, a program which uses spiritual principles as the tools to identify and resolve the causes of unhealthy, toxic or stressful relationships, whether it is with your mate, children, friends, co-workers as well as yourself.



     While driving down the freeway, I noticed that traffic was slowing down ahead of me. As I got a bit further, I saw flares on the road and a big yellow truck with a lighted arrow blinking on its back end. As I passed the truck, I saw four workers sticking shovels in the back of another truck and getting asphalt. They dumped shovels of asphalt into all the potholes that were in the pavement. The potholes were all assorted sizes from small and shallow to large and deep. The workers filled the holes and left them humped up with not much concern as to the efficiency of their tasks. Due to the extreme fluctuations in seasonal temperatures, potholes seem to be a dreaded yet expected phenomenon. The potholes will be filled in repeatedly, year after year, and the road begins to look worse than Swiss cheese. Eventually the road will be stripped down to its foundation and repaved anew.

     As I drove past the last truck, I began to think about how we all have emotional potholes. Emotional potholes are events, situations or experiences that happened in our lives that left us feeling angry, guilty, resentful, deceived, grief stricken, lonely, unappreciated, inadequate, hurt, disrespected, abandoned, fearful etc. Our potholes usually start at an incredibly early age, and usually grow wider and deeper with time, which is the result when the cause of the pothole is not resolved. Some examples of emotional potholes are the loss of a loved one, your achievements or efforts are not acknowledged; your mate has had an affair, being teased as a child, feeling unattractive, experiencing physical or sexual abuse, feeling like you never “fit in”, feeling like you aren’t smart or intelligent enough, etc.

     The biggest problem with emotional potholes is that people do not know how to repair them. To repair them, people typically resort to trying to fill them in. Filling a pothole in is ineffective and temporary at best. Some of the most obvious signs of filling in potholes are: increased or excessive eating, craving or eating sweets and other pleasure foods, increased to excessive sexual activities, gambling, pornography, increased to excessive alcohol and/or drugs, smoking, unnecessary or excessive shopping or spending money, multiple failed relationships, looking for another relationship before the current one has ended or immediately after a breakup.

Watch out for the Patching Crew