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Instant Gratification vs. Long Term Strategy: What’s Best?

Posted on July 27th, 2012

Instant versus incremental

Instant rewards and instant healing has a much nicer ring to it than the two combined words of long term. However, if waiting for a particular amount of time will help you further along in the long run, it stirs the question of whether waiting is more worthwhile.
But how do you determine what works best for you?
When associating this with divorce, 99% of people want to get out of their pain as soon as they possibly can and get on with their life. They want any existing void or despair that has crept into their heart to be removed. Yet removing pain and despair is not connected to avoiding it.

It is so important to guard yourself against hiding behind different issues: for example, your work, your children or other people’s problems as an excuse for not facing your own.

Diversion and deflecting: neither are beneficial

This will result in not healing from your divorce. Diversion and keeping yourself busy with other things will not help you in any way. It can only further multiply the time it will take to heal.
Deflecting never brings satisfaction. Your issues may have been avoided for a time: yet all the while they will bubble and fester under the surface until eventually they boil over the top and burn more than they ever would have had you first confronted those issues.
Therapy and traditional healing practices have based their disciplines on the premise that you need time to heal.

Defining long term strategy

The concept of needing time to heal is consequently so ingrained in our society that challenging this notion is usually met with an extraordinary amount of resistance, and, in some cases, even anger or dismissal. The thought of healing quickly feels fake, shallow or unbelievable and could be misconstrued as a trivialization of the healing process.
This is an understandable reaction, especially from people who have experienced such dramatic heartache and taken an extraordinary time to heal in those circumstances. However, it raises my question, or, perhaps, my opinion that it doesn’t need to take a long time to emotionally heal if the problem is faced correctly and strategically.

I do not believe time heals all wounds. It simply passes by. It’s what we do with our lives while time is passing that either helps us, heals us or locks us in our past.

Why even bother?

What happens with a lot of people when they take time to heal is they become complacent, resigned, and, in reality… lazy. Over time, the urgency to take action dissipates. People become desensitized to their situation and tend to “settle” for certain ways or habits, and tolerate more than they should or ever would have if they had first taken action proactively.
If you’ve lived with something for so long, you may become “used to it” and no longer feel the urgency to take any action because you know you can withstand it (as you’ve proved so far). So why change now? Why bother?
This kind of desensitized attitude is the danger in a long term strategy. It’s an inaccurate way to overcome and deal with the heartache you long to defeat. However, a long term strategy, if correctly dealt with, does not need to be a negative thing.

If you are making movement towards healing and dealing with your emotions but are simply taking an extended time to do so, more power to you for knowing what works for you: to each his own.

You just need to make sure that if you like taking your time to heal that it is not just an excuse for lingering in your self-pity. It is necessary to grieve and allow yourself to heal by all means!
It’s vital that you do, but it is essential that you ensure that it is just a specific period of time and not one that lengthens, which would then distract you from your need to move on.
Stay tuned for PART II.

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