part viii: the heart and the mind, revisited.

by Michael King

user's manual

The moment he left, and your Heart fragmented in your hands, your Mind went to work salvaging you from the storm. ‘People who want to stay,’ your Mind begged your Heart over its cries, ‘stay.’

Your Mind beckoned you to run, to get a haircut, to seek new adventures, to kiss the cute man at the bar, to say no to the man’s request to come home with you, to break off all contact with your ex, to let the break be final and to close the door on your side, to decline his terms, to build new adventures, to stop looking for love where it does not dwell, to repurpose your energy toward healing and loving others better.

For a very long time, over the past few miles, your Heart sat in stubborn silence, hurting and healing, quietly holding out hope that ‘people who want to stay’ might just … come back.

Things began to change for you, your fists unfurling and beginning to let go, when your Heart stopped arguing with your Mind about who he is: the good, the bad, the fine-but-not-right-for-you. All of it.

It’s worth noting, lest your Mind grow a bit too proud of its abilities, that your Heart has had its own miraculous victories over the past weeks and months. It has been your Heart beckoning you to be courageous, to be honest, to be loving, leaving behind bandages in place of wounds, a trail of love rather than pain.

It was your Heart that wouldn’t allow you to be cruel, that sought to disarm and not to incite, that empowered you to err on the side of kindness, forgiveness, and grace. If your Mind sutured your wounds with stitches, it was your Heart that began to gently pull them loose, to grant your scars the opportunity to breathe.

If it was your Mind that fortified you in steel walls, beckoning you forward in stubborn-ass steps, then it was your Heart that ordered the deconstruction, granting you permission to unravel, to weep and to laugh and to find meaning in the world around you again.

They’re at their best, your Heart and your Mind, when they’re working together. You can feel it already, can’t you? The return of the softness, the gentleness, the warmth that so characterizes your being?

This is a tell-tale sign that your Heart has reclaimed the wheel, that your Mind has softly sighed and relented, sitting in the passenger seat and gently coaxing your Heart to pay attention to the signs, your Heart animatedly telling a story about the day it first discovered love.

We’re getting close, reader. There aren’t many pages left in this manual. You’ve got fewer and fewer knots to untangle, at least from this mess, and, my God, has the horizon ever burned so brightly?

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