Inside Out

by Ray Reuter on September 3, 2015

InsideOutDo you feel put together or pulled apart?

This question was posed on a recent God In All Things podcast. It is a question that moves us to drill deeper into refecting on what is the source our feelings – what is causing us to feel the way we are feeling.

  • I’m put together … I’m feeling whole. I like myself. I am on mission. I am growing and developing. I have plenty to give to others.
  • I’m pulled apart … I’m broken. I feel isolated, overwhelmed. I am disjointed, mixed up, stumbling.

In the Pixar film Inside Out, we are taken inside the head of 11-year old Riley where we meet five core emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. Ideally they all work together in harmony, so that Riley’s behavior, actions, and feelings are “put together.” This brings consolation, clarity, strength.

But alas, there are times when one or more of these emotions get out of balance and take too much control. This disharmony creates a series of poor judgments and irrational decisions leading to chaos. In the movie, Joy and Sadness get lost and are no longer in sync with the other three emotions. The result is that Riley starts to feel pulled apart, things are unstable, structures and systems literally crumble and fall. Desolation and despair take over.

The takeaway is being emotionally competent enough – self-aware enough – to know what part of us has gone missing or has taken over too much influence and authority. What is the source of feeling pulled apart or put together? Sometimes our state of togetherness has a source, a reason. Sometimes it doesn’t. The key is regular self-examination and reflection to avoid getting too “inside out.”


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