Absence Makes the Heart…

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder…”

There’s varying opinions on this. Google the phrase and you’ll get this:

The proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder” describes the feeling of greater affection between friends and lovers who are kept apart. It is a phrase that, in on one form or another, can be traced back for millennia—the Roman poet Sextus is credited with the earliest version of the phrase.

Or this:

Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Study says yes

Or even this:

Absence Doesn’t Actually Make The Heart Grow Fonder

But remove the science from it. Ignore the opinions. Draw from your personal experience. Think about the people that you’ve left behind. Focus on those individuals that have moved on from their relationship with you. Whether it was a friendship, a partnership, or family, some bonds were never intended to endure.

Once we stop asking why and begin to accept that there are reasons beyond our understanding, we can release responsibility for the decisions that were made (whether those decisions were our own or not). It’s difficult though.

Time not only heals, but provides distance between “then” and “now” and affords us the opportunity to feel less. Consider the process numbing. It’s the absence of intense feelings that allows us to respond to other things in our lives. The strongholds that once consumed us loosen their grip. The absence allows for distractions. We become more aware of other things in our lives. We stumble across alternatives and focus on other things that stimulate us. Soon we are no longer numb. We begin to feel again.

It is this kind of absence that makes our hearts fonder. Our hearts have but one purpose–to pump blood through our veins and to keep us alive. When we are consumed with others, our focus is not on our own survival, but on the well-being of others. Sometimes we love so much that we loose focus. We neglect ourselves, our responsibilities, and other things that are essential to our growth. And although a healthy relationship requires a balance, it is the absence that our heart needs to thrive.

The heart is fond of the absence. It is the mind that yearns for the presence. It is the mind that develops awkwardly when it is not stimulated. It’s a lonely mind that longs for companionship.

Until we can completely separate the heart and mind, then we aren’t likely to resolve this dilemma. And so instead of absence making the heart fonder, it is the distance that makes the mind wander.

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