wings and things

Hardening the heart

on March 15, 2013

I’m not sure if this is right or wrong, sensible or nonsensical, normal or not, but sometimes I have to harden my heart in a very deliberate way in order to ‘seize the day’.

We probably all do this to some extent – I’m not sure. All I know is that if Anthony is forlorn, or Ming is angry, or I am wondering/wandering, I seem to be able to harden my heart against itself.

And then I can breathe again.

61 responses to “Hardening the heart

  1. Thank goodness you have that coping mechanism.

  2. rumpydog says:

    Yes I do that too. In my case it’s not with my loved ones but with those familiesI work with.

  3. It’s called self-preservation, Julie. You’ve got to protect yourself….

  4. bulldog says:

    So long as you can breathe.. I’ve said so many times that you have to consider what is best for yourself first.. so as long as you can breathe that’s all that matters…

  5. TBM says:

    Coping mechanisms are key sometimes.

  6. Rohan 7 Things says:

    That makes sense. I definitely feel like we have to harden ourselves in order to survive sometime and get through tough times.

    Like the commenter above says, sounds like a handy coping mechanism. Then you can soften again when it’s safe 🙂

    All the best!


  7. Gardengirl says:

    Sad, but true. We all do it to survive, just be sure to not harden it too much. You want to be able to keep the hurt out, but you still want to let love in and sometimes that hurts. It’s a conundrum.

    Prayers for you,


  8. FlaHam says:

    Julie, The process does seem to help with one’s resolve. I know from my own experiences that that hardening helps me get thru some otherwise impossible issues. Take care, Bill

  9. I think that’s called survival. I also think people who tend to be ore emotional and sensitive (that would be me 🙂 have to do it more often in order to continue to be a functioning person. I also tend to ignore or selve things until I can examine them; pretty inconvenient when it comes to matters of urgency. But there you have it. Hugs and prayers to you!

  10. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to get through a moment in time – I so relate to that!

  11. I would not say it is ‘harden the heart’ (because whenever i do it, my heart is actually thumping at 1000 miles a second), but rather “dissociate” or “detach” from the moment.
    I do it all the time 🙂

  12. I think that it makes sense, you need some time to breathe. Detachment for a short time affords you that, you mustn’t be too hard on yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

  13. Whether you call it hardening your heart or strengthening your resolve, or inspiring you next breath, you are doing what you need to survive through a very challenging, painful, difficult moment. And no matter what you call it, you can never change the fact, you are incredibly brave and loving and kind.


  14. It is called self-preservation and we all have to do it–rather than implode.

  15. Colline says:

    Sometimes we need to do this so that we can move on with our day and make decisions, big or small.

  16. terry1954 says:

    It is our way of keeping the deep pain a way so we can move on through our daily activities, in my opinion. I do the same thing

  17. letstalkaboutfamily says:

    I zgree though I never thought of it as hardening the heart. I would steel myself against quick emotional reactions whenever I had to call mom as she often threw out the most unexpected comments and problems. She was serious in her worry about all kinds of things that had in fact been taken care of decades before. It took a lot out of me for each call. Now mom is gone and I hesitate similarly when I call dad even though he has never brought up past worries or concerns. It is just a habit from all those calls with mom 🙂

  18. I would call it a survival instinct.

  19. dcwisdom says:

    Melodrama is very wearing and tiring, and it takes much emotional energy, which sometimes I don’t have. So, I refuse to participate and move on. Watch a funny movie, read a humorous book, tell funny jokes, dance, and do crazy things. It helps relieve the stresses and tensions for everyone. Sending you some big and crazy Texas love across the waves…

  20. viveka says:

    Julie, doesn’t matter how you do it … so long as you do it. I don’t you harden you heart … I think think you harden your reactions.

  21. Kozo says:

    I hate to be a thorn in the side, Julie, but what would happen if you kept your heart open and just focused on breathing through the moment? Just a suggestion. Feel free to put it out in the yard with the rest of the droppings if you don’t like the idea. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  22. Robyn Lee says:

    I don’t think “hardening your heart” is even possible — would change the description of what you are describing. How about ~ keeping healthy boundaries or or creating “sacred space” where you are safe… It’s a good thing — and your heart is ever so beautiful regardless! xo RL

  23. prayingforoneday says:

    What you have is what we all have, a way of coping and getting through a day or something that happens. I think we all have it.
    I hope you are good.

    Shaun x

  24. I think because you sometimes feel on ‘overload’ you’ve had to use this defense mechanism..and it’s likely good for you right now… I wish that I had more of the ability to do that sometimes…Diane

  25. SnapInTime says:

    Yes. Sometimes it’s the only way to get through the moment. ❤

  26. artfulanxiety says:

    I used to do it all the time in high school. It was the only way I could enjoy myself sometimes.

  27. And you need to put yourself first sometimes too. It will help you take care of others better. 🙂

  28. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    To be honest, I don’t know whether it’s right or wrong, sensible, nonsensical or normal either, but it sounds pretty bloody healthy to ME. We must do, what we need to do.

    Take care x

  29. Trisha says:

    I have to harden my heart every day to watch the news. I think it’s the only way people who have a lot of empathy for others can survive. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you and everyone you care about.

  30. Trisha says:

    Oops. It looks like a comment I made on another blog ended up here. Please ignore anything I said that doesn’t fit!

  31. Judith Post says:

    Good for you! A person can only handle so much at a time. You need to protect yourself to be able to function. And you’re one of the most generous, big-hearted people I’ve “met”, so your heart doesn’t stay hard very long:)

  32. elizabeth says:

    I know exactly what you mean Julie. Sometimes is just a matter of survival.

  33. I think I do it too. I don’t think of it so much as hardening the heart, but I imagine shutting a door on the subject or filing it away for later. You do what you can when you can.

  34. Fergiemoto says:

    Sometimes it is necessary!

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