This adage is the flip side of the more famous: absence makes the heart grow fonder. The one is a romantic notion. The other speaks to cold truth. Few know this saying or harness its power. In fairness, it is not an easy pill to swallow.
Absence allows us to cool down from the heat of our emotions. Emotions will cloud judgment in even the most disciplined minds. While we should not suppress our emotions, we should pick when we yield to them.
This adage also suffers from the bad connotation attached to disillusion. I recall one time not long ago when I felt disillusioned. I sulked. I pouted. I cursed the misfortune of having built up high hopes only to be disappointed.
And it was all over a job that wouldn’t matter in a month, let alone a year.
Most focus on the negativity of the feeling, without considering the literal meaning. When you are disillusioned, you have no longer have your illusions. Illusions, as Gob Bluth will tell you, are the deceptions of magicians. They are also the deceptions we create in the heat of the moment.
This job will change my life. He’s such a great guy to marry. When I close this deal, I’ll be set for years. Think about the scope of those statements. They all stretch far beyond the horizon of what what we can know.
Absence allows us to settle our feelings. We don’t cling to what we hope for. Instead, we return to the truth of what is real. Take a moment today to look at what feels so right to you in the heat of the moment. Approach that feeling with some detachment. When you consider it again, you will be free of the illusions you felt. And you will wield the power of absence.