How to Align the Head and the Heart.
“I still miss you every day. I still love you. I still do not understand.”
My thumb hovers over the send button, then slides down to the delete button. I have the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other—also known as my heart and my head.
I so badly want to hit send, but I know it is futile. Even with this knowledge, I know I am going to hit send. My thumb quickly swipes over the send button, and it’s too late to change my mind. I see the line slide seamlessly across the top of the text; I hear the swoosh that it is gone and sent.
No chance of getting it back now.
Prior to hitting send, I felt hopeful, but as soon as it is gone, the crashing weight of regret flows over me. Why? I know better. We all know better! I haven’t seen him in months, so why would I open myself up to this regression in my recovery—again?
The worst form of rejection is being ignored, and that is all I get from him.
I think I hit send for the same reason any of us hits send after a breakup. Because I’m still in love with him. Because I still wish every day that he would come back. And maybe, just maybe, my text will be the catalyst of that happening. At least, that’s what our heart tells us, even though the ever-logical head knows differently, right?
So, how do I align the two? How do I convince my heart that I am better than ignored texts and cowardly rejection?
I can tell you that it is work. It is almost a full-time job of active and conscious attention to my thoughts. I cannot let them linger in the past at our good times and happy moments. I cannot replay the last moment I saw him when he selfishly took advantage of my weakness. And certainly not the pain of yet another ignored attempt at communication. If I focus on those moments or thoughts, then I will feel stupid, worthless and discouraged.
Instead, I must retrain my brain to the daily action of gratitude.
I know it sounds way too simple and Polly Anna-ish, but it is true. You must be thinking, How will focusing on that heal my shattered heart? Well, forget your heart for a moment and realize this:, there is scientific evidence that gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. That when you focus on gratitude, it changes your mental state and you feel less lonely, less isolated. Hmmm, isn’t that a big part of the broken heart? Feeling isolated from your former partner and lonely without them?
Granted, some days gratitude comes easily. I can be grateful for a friend who surprises me with coffee, or my daughter making me a silly, pink clay creature that can best be described as a pink, bearlike pig. Other days, the bad days, gratitude is a challenge, and I am exhausted at the end of the day trying to find anything good that happened. On those days, my pillow is the only thing I am grateful for, because my head hitting it signifies the end of the bad day. Regardless, I still find something to be grateful for.
I never should have hit send. My clock resets back to zero now for the number of days it’s been since I was unable to resist the temptation of contacting him.
Sadly, I can’t go back. But, I can be grateful that I was given yet another reminder of why he is not the right man for me. I can be grateful that he is acting exactly as I expected. My gratitude in this situation is not flawless, but at least I am putting my efforts into trying to feel good instead of reliving the pain.
Give gratitude a try, and take it one day at a time—you will feel better!
Author: Annie McFarland
Editor: Toby Israel