Direct Answers – Residual Burn


Guys, if you can kindly offer a word or two, I’m grateful. You see, I can’t get my ex out of my head. I think about him every waking moment, but they’re not pleasant thoughts. They’re memories that leave me with an explosion of anger and anxiety…every time.

And I so badly want to stop thinking and feeling this way. Just don’t know how. It’s been two years since I walked away from our one-and-a-half year marriage, a year since the divorce and six months since the emails to and fro stopped cold turkey.

Getting through to him was always like raking at a concrete wall barehanded. When we were married, I kept quiet because I feared his reaction. He wasn’t physically abusive but the smallest disagreement brought on days of sulking and nights of him turning his back.

Listening wasn’t his thing. Talking. Yes. The day I talked back was the day I said, “Blank you! I want a divorce!”

I could’ve given him my life without hesitation at one point. Now I really don’t care if he gets run over by a train because that’s how much love he showed me. I hope to stay away from him for the rest of our lives.

I know I can’t erase the past, but this anger, I pray it will go away. Advice for me? Thank you kindly.

~ Debra

Debra, the standard advice is time will solve a lot of your anger and anxiety, and getting good things in your life will take care of the rest. True enough, but in your case it doesn’t seem to be working.

One thing you didn’t mention is that you are mad at yourself. “He had no love for me, and I didn’t see that and wound up married to him.” But that can’t be undone.

Whether he was your first and that’s what caused you to turn a blind eye, whether he was a consummate liar and you weren’t skilled enough to deal with that, whether you loved the idea of his potential and didn’t know it was a potential he had no interest in, or whether it was something else, doesn’t matter.

This is a lost investment of your time and your life. Keep the only good thing: the experience you gained which will prevent this from happening again. So history doesn’t repeat itself, you must keep the knowledge without reliving the history.

Not seeing him, not coming in contact with him, thoughts of him will become fewer and fewer. And the pain will get better. Filling your life with positives, there will be less and less time for him.

But we hear you protesting, “That hasn’t been enough.”

Okay, there is another way to get where you want to be.

Let us suggest one book: “Coherence” by Alan Watkins. Alan Watkins is a British cardiologist, and this book is for senior executives. That probably doesn’t describe you, so you will want to focus only on one aspect of the book.

In “Coherence” Alan Watkins describes a simple way of focusing on the breath and putting it in tune with the heart. Because the heart is by far the most energetic organ in the body, it is capable of putting all other organs, including the brain, in synch with it.

Mistreatment of any sort creates lasting mental problems. We can’t get it out of our thoughts. Taking attention from the mind and centering it on the heart has a powerful effect. It’s like taking a car that’s stuck in third gear and shifting it into neutral.

Watkins also explains how to replace negative emotions, like anger and anxiety, with positive ones like confidence, serenity and optimism. This step frees the mind to do what it was intended to do.

If this approach sounds intriguing, skip the pages which don’t concern you. Focus on the method Watkins outlines in Figure 1.11 of the book.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of August 25, 2014

Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.


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