Mindfulness Personal Growth Relationships

Cognitive Dissonance: The Compartmentalization of Love

July 1, 2018


He held her in his heart at a safe and comfortable distance.

He placed her in the most shielded steel box compartment, locked into the outer perimeter of his heart.

The safest and easiest people were placed in separate compartments, no lock, easier to love.

He kept her separate from his friends and daily interactions.

Like a switch he could shift between compartments, but he could not love her like he loved the safe and easy people.

He could not easily take her out of the steel box.

He did not truly know how to love her.

He thought he had all the answers in his self help books, memes, pictures, and small safe filtered interactions.

He blamed her for his inability to be present with her. For his distractedness, addictions, and afflictions.

He held her emotions against her, dismissing and rejecting her during the times when she needed him most.

He tried to convince the world of his facade of beauty, perfection, and immortality.

He thought he held had all the answers.


Compartmentalizing of emotions as to not feel anything ‘negative’

One tactic avoidant people employ (to numb emotion) is to isolate inconsistent views or behaviors from each other.

“Compartmentalization is the mental process of keeping things separate in order to avoid unpleasant feelings. It is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism that our minds use to deal with conflicting internal viewpoints.

Mentally separating aspects of our lives can give the appearance of harmony, because it temporarily relieves tension.

In reality, our lives are still out of balance and the supposed consistency is often false or even harmful.” 

Cognitive dissonance forces a person to favor one view (safe and easy) over an uncomfortable one, even if the more comfortable belief is wrong.

That’s why these psychological components can play a huge role in addictive behaviors. -Source

Compartmentalizing of people, feelings and emotions creates a temporary feeling of “safe” and makes life feel easier to manage. However, long term the cognitive dissonance formed becomes a destructive force. Addictions that are formed come in all forms, not just drugs and alcohol.



She busted out of her locked safety box, and expressed herself from time to time.

It wasn’t always easy, or pretty, and didn’t fit easily into his “safe” compartments.

He tried to convince her that her emotions made her a storm, made her ugly, unlovable, unacceptable, and chaotic. 

She realized that her emotions were her life force, her strength, her beauty, her vulnerability, and that she always was and always will be enough. 

He taught her many life lessons.

She stopped believing that she just wasn’t good enough.

…and that the most magnificent love yet, without locks or boxes, without distractions or addictions, was patiently waiting for her arrival home.

He was always there with her, waiting to bloom in her heart.



“Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.”
–Nayyirah Waheed









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