Forgetting is Hard for the Heart

12 March, 2016

If you put the heart and reason on a scale, there will always be an imbalance when it comes to memories. Because despite the passage of time, there are still some people who have made a hole in our hearts. A hole which makes the heart beat harder, with a simple vision of the past, with the memory of a word whispered to our ears.

Your mind will want you to be rational. It will want you to forget that person who hurt you and left. But your heart doesn’t forget. It keeps reminding you, every time it beats blood to your body, how that person made you feel, how the world was at that moment.

“Sometimes in the silence of night, all of her memories returned to her with the fullness of a childhood song… In solitude, nobody escapes their memories.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-

The eternal battle: the mind and the heart

When we experience a romantic breakup, reality tells us that that person we love doesn’t love us anymore. They don’t seek us out, call us or kiss us. But the heart in its eternal battle as a hopeless romantic reminds us of the day we kissed for the first time, or we made love sheltered by the darkness. That battle between reality and our memories is what keeps us from forgetting.

girl with suitcase full of butterflies

The more intense the memories, the longer they will keep appearing in your mind. This has a scientific explanation, because the hippocampus (in charge of remembering things like dates, places and faces) and the cerebral amygdala (in charge of emotional memories) have become linked, have intertwined and your memories are no longer just images. They are smells, caresses, words and tastes.

“Remembering is easy for he who has memory. Forgetting is hard for he who has a heart.”
-Gabriel García Márquez-

The healing effect of time

As the saying goes: Time heals everything. This is because with the passing of days, months and years, the connection between the hippocampus and the cerebral amygdala stops being used so that other data can be stored, other memories. That is to say, we let people and their memories go so that others may enter our lives.

Usually, a breakup is followed by a period of grief that can last between 6 months and a year. This depends on the effort we put in in order to continue with our lives and overcome the disappointment.

3 tips to help you forget

It’s important to not cling to the past, because life is waiting for us to enjoy it. So, we should put all of our effort into forgetting. It’s possible to forget. It simply requires willpower and hope for the future. You have a heart and, therefore, it’s complicated to forget. But, it’s not impossible. Up next, we will share some advice to help you forget:

Accept what happened

Sometimes we insist on asking for a thousand explanations or on giving them, but maybe they’re not necessary. Not everything has an explanation, and it’s not necessary to delve further into what happened and harm ourselves even more. This is very complicated to accept, but it’s a necessary dose of reality. Be brave and accept that the person you love has left.

Live your life and enjoy your emotions

It’s possible that at the beginning of this period of grief you’ll feel like crying. And you should cry in order to vent, in order to let all of the pain out. But you should also push yourself to venture out, take a walk, go to the movies, and socialize with other people.

Live your life again. Ask yourself: What do I like? What do I enjoy doing? You’ll start making new memories that will make you forget the past ones. Make a hole in your heart for new emotions and experiences. Close some doors in order to open new ones.

girl on rooftop hugging heart

Time isn’t everything

Time helps you forget. It’s true that with the passage of time the pain becomes numb, until it disappears all together. But it’s not simply about waiting. It’s also about acting. It does you no good to stay in your house waiting out the days until the pain leaves.

Open your mind. Do that photography course you always wanted to do. Dare to ask for that guy you like’s phone number. Do sports, have a gin-tonic, read your favorite book again or simply buy a new one. Do whatever you want, but live.

“The heart is the size of a fist and the shape of a pear pointing down. The heart is the organ symbol for love and it follows the rhythm of emotions. Normally, it contracts between 60 and 70 times per minute, much more in a person who is in love. Sometimes it reaches 100 times per minute without you even noticing. The heart is the last one to go. It continues beating when it’s taken out of the body, and when the person you love abandons you, or when you don’t want to suffer anymore. You’re not the one in charge. When you’re in love, when the heart beats strongly for another person, you’re no longer in charge. The heart is in charge.” 

-Manule d´amore-