Monday, September 17, 2012

Reasons you should be selfish (when it comes to your own heart)

It was Dear Sugar who wrote, sometimes you have to be brave enough to break your own heart.

That means a lot of different things, for whatever situation you might be in, but it always means the same thing - saying no. No to the toxic relationship you know won't work, no to the friend that always brings you down, no to the poisonous habits of comparison, narcissism or ruthless competition. No to the things that will leave you eating your body weight in nutella and wallowing in self-loathing. The bad relationships, the people or things or habits in your life that are the equivalent of emotional cutting.

There's value in deciding your own emotional health and general well being outweighs the desire to satisfy some self-destructive vacuum. There's value in cutting ties and burning bridges (the ones that are going to collapse of their own accord anyway). Not everything needs to be set alight, but sometimes you gotta do a little back burning. Not everybody is good for you. Not everything is worth your time. There are precious things worthy of your suffering. You have to break your own heart, sometimes.

Not that it's easy. We're all a little masochistic, and I think everybody's 'been there'. To that place where you can't let go.. of people that took a special place in your life but for whatever reason have been relegated to the outskirts, that are out-laws in your little circle of trust, that don't get a seat at your future.

I'm a bit of a sucker for sentimentality and approval. On the other hand, it feels insanely liberating not to be at the mercy of a black hole of emotional drainage. That's why it's a tough gig. It's cognitive dissonance. Logically we know. Emotionally, we don't care. Doing things that press on our hearts in millions of tiny little ways. Like insisting on keeping in touch with your ex even though it's pointless and takes away that 'one step forward'. Or prior to keeping in touch with an ex, the being man enough to euthanise your own relationship. It's the goodbye to things that keep you paralysed, the burning of the bridge that always leads to nowhere. That's the big, brave part. The necessary part.

You just have to pick up a match and start the bonfire. And then just chuck in all of the self-destruction. No more unnecessary bad days, no more self-inflicted sufferings, no more pity parties as a consequence of That Thing or That Person or That Voice in Your Head/Life that shouldn't be there anymore.

Growing up Catholic, I know all about the interwoven threads of suffering and life. But I'm not about replaying painful dramas just for kicks. If you've learned, and you know better, just say no.. to The Bad Things. Instead, do the Better thing. Choose yourself. Be selfish. Be a bad ass. Break your own heart. You'll thank yourself for it.

When the world is full of small armies full of like-minded people who will just get you and ideas that will blow your mind and experiences that will build you up in ways you've never imagined - why waste your time?

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