Heartbreak doesn’t just happen to country singers who lost the love of their lives. Heartbreak happens to everyone at some point in their lives and I assure you it wasn’t just over a breakup.
You can feel broken-hearted over a loved one’s passing, separation from a friend, a change in circumstances, loss of a job, cancer diagnosis of a family member, or cancelling a wedding because of a global pandemic.
There are many feelings we feel and thoughts that run in our heads when we’re heartbroken. We can doubt our life purpose, we can question the value we bring into this world, and sometimes we can physically feel like our heart is heavy and hurting.
Here’s the thing… Sometimes we think we can’t fix it and we’ll never be the same again. You know what? That’s true! We will never be the same again and even though we can’t completely undo the broken situation we can find a new rhythm for our hearts.
“What do you mean?”, you ask.
Bob Goff, Author of "Undistracted", shares a story about how his heart was beating rapidly and sporadically, and the only way to fix it was to have doctors stop his heart and restart it. It’s a crazy risk but to fix his heart, he had to reset it and let it find a new rhythm.
Like Bob, we need to reset our hearts. No, we don’t need to all go out and buy defibrillators, that would be highly dangerous and crazy expensive. We have a heart condition that we need to address and can’t keep ignoring it, medicating, or being indifferent to it.
The steps below are not a quick fix. This process takes time. We need to recognise our broken condition, stop and reset our hearts, then align our hearts to a new rhythm.
Listen to your heart
Take time to recognize the hurt. Your heart is speaking to you, sometimes yelling at you when you go through a massive amount of stress and grief. So, when your heart races or it feels a bit sporadic, take time to listen and give it the attention it needs. You might need to take a break from the stressful environments and things in your life. You might need to get away, even if it’s for a weekend. Go somewhere quiet, and somewhere fresh.
When my grandmother passed away, I needed to write a eulogy, put together a slideshow of her life, and plan certain elements of the funeral. I took a day, by myself and went to a park I knew hardly anyone goes to. It was a beautiful sunny day and I sat on the top of a hill and took time to journal and remember my beautiful grandmother.
There's nothing wrong with you for having emotions. You don't have to have it all together. You can tell the people in your life that you need a little space to assess the damage. Where can you go to listen to what your heart needs?
Reset your heart
Our hearts were made to love and be loved. As painful as the process is our hearts are strong enough to withstand the hurt and it also has the capacity to be reset and do it over and over again. (Obviously, I’m speaking figuratively not literally).
Once we’ve had time to grieve and listen to our hearts, we need to take time to realign it. We can’t keep living the same way we were before the heartbreak. Too much has happened and so much has changed. Although change might scare some of us, it is such a necessary step to take. When Bob had to restart his heart, the doctors needed to stop it first. It was a risk he was willing to take to live a longer and fuller life.
We can’t keep living the same way we were before the heartbreak. Too much has happened and so much has changed. Although change might scare some of us, it is such a necessary step to take.
We need to find something to incline our hearts toward again, something that brings joy, purpose, and a sense of new life. Before you jump right into the doing part you may want to consider getting help in this area. This may look like, talking to a psychologist, a coach, a mentor, a pastor, or wise counsel (like a parent). Put together a strategy to figure out how you want to go about this next stage of your life.
This might take some time to figure out but it’s only a momentary pause.
Incline to the new rhythm of your heart
Now that we’ve recognized the effects of this heartbreak, and taken the necessary risk to stop and reset it, we now have a choice to accept the new rhythm of our heart or reject it and revert to our old ways. I highly recommend the first option.
Deciding to do something new is not the same thing as doing it. Whatever the dark situation we may find ourselves in, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we need to walk to it. Are you giving your heart a chance to love again?
· If you’re newly single, could you love the blessing that single life has to offer?
· If you’ve lost a friend, could you put yourself out there again to grow in a deep relationship with a new friend?
· If your job has let you down, could you find a place to bring joy wherever you go?
· If something was cancelled because of the pandemic, could you find other ways to celebrate anyway?
If you are at the first stage of heartbreak, I’m sorry for the pain you are going through. Know that you’re not alone and there is hope yet.
If you are at the second stage of this journey, I’m so excited for the new possibilities and joys that will enter your life again. I’m here for you if you ever need to find your next steps to realign your heart.
If you are at the last stage and you’re beating to a new rhythm, I applaud you! It’s not easy to get to this step. The opportunities that’ll come your way will help you to flourish in this one life you’ve been given.
One last thing...
Take notes and journal. It won’t only help reflect and remember where you’ve been but it can help curate your point of view. You’re constantly growing and evolving and your heart may need a little help from your brain to remember why it has a new rhythm.