Why it’s not a good idea to make decisions when you’re heartbroken and how to deal when you are

Photo Credit - Joe Penna, Creative Commons
Photo Credit – Joe Penna, Creative Commons

The world seems a desperate place when you’re heartbroken.

When your heart is torn and nothing seems to console it, the only thing you feel is anguish.

When you can’t understand why everything has fallen apart, hopelessness threatens you and the dejection overwhelms.

It leaves you feeling as if you’ve lost all control. And all you want is to do something to make it better, to make all the problems go away.

When our hopes, dreams, and desires lay in a crumbling mess, and we are left picking up the pieces, it is so very tempting to reach – to move in any direction, or every direction, which promises a change, in our lives and in our hearts. But reaching if often delusive. When we move out of desperation, we make things worse. Our heartbreak erodes our thinking. We act in haste. We don’t think things through. Our decisions, therefore, only serve to lead us into greater problems, or to a place we never wanted to go in the first place.

The world doesn’t teach us how to deal with our heartbreak, it only offers temporary solutions. Substances to numb the pain. Work to focus our minds elsewhere. Material objects which promise momentary happiness.

And then we are left empty again.

We feel sadness – real sadness. Soul-shattering sadness. But we’re not prepared to cope with it.

Having experienced despairing grief myself, and far more valuable, having coped with it and come through to the other side, I think I’ve cracked how to do this – or, at least, I figured out what worked for me.

After giving my daughter up for adoption, all I knew was heartache. It caused me to make poor choices. My sadness blinded me from reality. And, for some reason, I believed sadness was not normal, that what I was feeling was wrong. So I tried my best to hide it. To cover it up. And it nearly destroyed me. But eventually I made my way through it.

I have a feeling a lot of people live with hidden hurt. They try to cover up their heartache because they don’t want to deviate from the norm. Therein the problem lies, with not wanting to acknowledge pain. We shouldn’t box it away and try to avoid the topic. Because the best way to deal with heartbreak is to speak about it. And write about it. And pray about it.

To let yourself feel it, even if it is for a while. To not give in to the temporary fix.

But doing this must be coupled with something else, otherwise the hurt will consume you.

The other thing is seeking out beauty – watching clouds move into patterns in the sky, observing how the sun casts an orange glow across rippling water, seeing birds bathe themselves – reminding yourself why life is worth living, why it’s worth getting through the pain you’re feeling now. (It sounds sentimental, yes, I know, but I firmly believe that just as pain can be a powerful force in our lives, so can beauty. It has a healing effect for our souls.)  

When you find beauty, get close to it. Don’t move away from it. Let it soak over you.

Then, when it has had its full effect, and when your thoughts begin to emerge from that of heartbreak to that of possibility, then you are able to move forward. To choose a new path. A path that will push you towards wholeness and restoration.

If you find yourself in a place of sadness, remember, heartbreak is only meant to be for a season.


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