My heart is full but my mind is empty.

Goodbyes to those you love only ever get exponentially harder. I never stay around longer than a week(with the exception of the Uganda trips). It’s been this way for 20 years. I’ve said more than 5,000 goodbyes in my lifetime, many with the knowledge that I would never see that person again.

Goodbye never gets easier… But why is that? Emotionally, in the soul, the apex of human existence, we feel. Our soul is generally associated with the heart organ here in Western Culture and the heart is, as far as science can tell, the only other hyper-intelligent organ next to the brain: capable of giving thoughts and commands.

Why the heart?

Why would we associate that with the soul? Religiously speaking, particularly in Christian realms we use phrases like, “Ask Jesus into your heart”. Other phrases commonly used to link the center of emotions to the heart are things such as: “put your heart into it”, “I love you with all my heart”, “heartfelt apology”, “broken heart”. All of these center around the heart being the epicenter for emotions in the human metadata. It is how we feel. The Scripture says:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
–Proverbs 23:7

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
–Deuteronomy 15:9

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
–Acts 8:22

In our heart we hold emotions, emotions linked to images and memories stored in the brain. When the eye perceives, it triggers the brain to locate the memory connected with the image you saw. That memory will then stimulate the heart to respond through emotions according to whatever emotions were linked to that memory. In short, what we see effects our hearts. Again, back to the Scripture.

Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.
–Lamentations 3:51

Lament.

What was seen triggered a response manifested in emotions: sorrow. The memory of the daughters of the city was not what they currently were. The memory was faint and its image marred by this new situation into which the daughters of the city had fallen. The memory then sparked a negative emotion because what was remembered no longer existed. Our response to forgotten or erased information is sadness and loss; mainly because it is a loss. Goodbyes will never get easier the closer you become to a person.

The more about them that you know, the more your mind becomes acclimated to their presence, the more sharp a contrast it will be when that presence is removed: your heart will respond with emotions of loss and sorrow until the mind is engaged in other activities and you “move on” so to speak. Those willingly suffer from loss and depression are those who cling to past memories rather than look ahead to future ones. As long as you tell your brain to expect the person who is gone and fill your mind with thoughts of them, you will never be happy and satisfied. This applies to simple goodbyes in this life, but also goodbyes from this life.

We cannot cling to old memories and confine our minds in the past! It’s dictating our emotions and we will never be happy in Christ, joyful in life, or hopeful for a new life some day. Desperation is the devil’s dagger. Then, finally there is the spiritual application. The old man is dead. Mine took over 7 years to die and only did so in the last 14 days with the help of some of my dearest friends. I didn’t watch the old man die, I killed him. Christ died on the cross for my sin, but I needed to die to myself and move on. I said my goodbye; it was not a find farewell, and I hope to never see that man again. He was prideful, arrogant, selfish, cruel, insensitive, lustful, without courage, unspiritual, spiteful, always seeking the last word, never willing to stand for Christ alone. He is dead.

Why did it take me so long to kill him?

Because I was a selfish, arrogant child. I didn’t want to kill him, I didn’t want to say goodbye to sins that made my flesh feel good. I didn’t want to say goodbye to pleasures of an unsanctioned mind that willed and dreamt many horrors and vile imaginations. I didn’t want to say goodbye to myself, the person I was, my pride and conceit. No more! I died.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
–Galatians 2:20

It hurt. It was over 7 years of struggle. I was saved, but I wasn’t wholly His. Now I resolve to live the life I couldn’t live before. I apologize to all of you for the hypocrisy I have posted on frequent occasions. I did not practice what I preached. I continued to wonder why God wasn’t using me, wasn’t growing my influence to make the maximum impact for Him. No more! That man is gone! Praise God!

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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