A symbolic meaning of flooding…

water flooding symbolism emotional overhwhelm
Have you noticed how often feelings and emotions are compared to elements of nature and weather? Here are some examples:

He ERUPTED into a long tirade.  

My heart is FROZEN.

She STORMED into the room. Her voice THUNDERED.

The wind raged outside. The man RAGED inside.

I was FLOODED with love.

His forgiveness WASHED me of my guilt.

So if weather patterns can be compared to patterns of emotions what could flooding mean? What is life trying to tell us all through the frequent incidence of national and international floods?
According to CARL JUNG, water in our dreams often symbolizes the unconscious. And what could flooding mean then? Flooding is often accompanied by very strong storms, winds and rain. These phenomena are often compared to challenging feelings: anger, rage, grief, sadness, pain, fear.
  • Have we become too unconscious of our feelings that we must see them reflected into nature?
  • Is our compulsion to deny or numb our challenging feelings now forcing them into our conscious world?
  • Are we being overpowered by our unconsciousness?
  • Is our lack of awareness damaging the goods in our lives?
  • Are we so disconnected from our emotions and so unwilling to feel them as they come that they must build up and flood us?
  • Is nature trying to encourage us pay attention to our lives and the good in them? Should we offer our anger, our grief and our fears the grace, the time and the respect they deserve, so they are not forced to overcome us?
water is emotion

Water is a symbol for the unconscious…

For me, water flooding seems to replicate the symptoms of emotional overwhelm… just like water, when we have denied them and numbed ourselves, emotions find a point where they emerge, keep pouring out of us and cannot be stopped. They take over the roads of our minds, the houses of our comfort and they keep us stuck for a while, where we are, until the pouring is done. Then they naturally begin to recede, leaving everything either soaked or damaged, allowing to finally tend to rebuilding.
I live in Charleston, SC. We have periodic water flooding during the hurricane season. This past year I watched helplessly as the water level began rising above my car’s tires. Seeing everything be slowly engulfed by a unrelenting flow of water it reminded of the recent emotional overwhelm we all experienced during the aftermath of the AME church shooting tragedy. There was a flooding of sadness, and grief and love that poured out of our hearts. There was a flooding of people who showed up for peace, for love, for hope.
receeding water on the beach
receding water
Can I do anything to stop the raging wind, the rain or the damage from the massive amounts of water?
I cannot pretend to know what flooding means, but by sitting with the questions above I can use flooding to become more aware, more conscious, more grateful for the times the waters of my life are calm.
Perhaps I can feel my feelings when they come, anger, sadness, love, joy. Let them come out gently, without avoiding them, hiding them or numbing them. Perhaps the best thing I can do anytime is to show up, be fully there, for the emotions and weather that come up for me and for those around me. Perhaps if I’m there with my feelings when they first show up, they won’t have to show up as a hurricane, a flood or all at once.

Comments are closed.