When our minds are busy, we can be easily overwhelmed and distracted, but our brains usually find a way to process and release. Our hearts on the other hand, hold everything dearly.
Our hearts hold love and joy, but they also hold pain, worry, guilt and sadness. Our hearts helps us feel all the things, and not just our own things. Our hearts take on the whole world. Sometimes it’s too much though, and all of those feelings get heavy. When our hearts overflow with the heavy stuff, we ask questions like …
- Why am I so sad?
- Why does this hurt so much?
- Will I get through this?
- When will I feel better?
- What can I do?
Or, instead of asking the questions, we shut down. Our hearts close for business for a while and we disconnect from all the feelings, even the good ones. It’s in that time that we usually become apathetic, depressed, lonely, or hopeless.
The heart wants what the heart wants, but there are ways to soothe your soul, and to lighten your heavy heart.
Write down your heart.
This is almost always my first response to pain, grief, sadness, or any strong emotion or reaction. I’ve learned from experience that acting from an unstable place generally leads to overreacting and words I wished I never said out loud. Instead, I put my heart on paper first. I write it all down. Even if it sounds crazy or messy, I don’t judge. I just write.
Expression will lighten your heavy heart.
Find the blessings.
In every tragedy, or painful time, there are blessings. They don’t justify the pain, but when you keep your heart open to the goodness, you can see the way through. Whatever your struggle is today, claim your openness to the blessings that have yet to appear and then give them room to rush in.
Hope will lighten your heavy heart.
Make time to heal.
The best strategies in the world will not speed up the healing process. You need time, and there is no good answer to “how long?” It will take as long as it takes. You can’t rush your heart. We said goodbye to our sweet dog Guinness more than 6 months ago. My heart is lighter than it was in the days that followed that painful goodbye, but there are still days when I get teary, or really, really miss him.
Patience will lighten your heavy heart.
When you feel hopeless or helpless, taking action helps. Give your time, talent, and treasure with the intention of relieving someone’s pain. In a recent essay, author Elizabeth Gilbert said, “But when the world starts to feel overwhelming in its sorrows, I always ask myself to look around me — to narrow down my focus — and to notice somebody who is nearby me, who is suffering. I can’t help the millions, but maybe I can help one. You never have to look very far to find a suffering soul.”
Give in the best way you can, and don’t let anyone tell you your gift isn’t enough. It is.
Contribution will lighten your heavy heart.
Share your heart.
Call a friend. Share something on your favorite social platform. Reach out and share your heart. Give others a chance to say, “yes, me too.”
Solidarity will lighten your heavy heart.
If your heart is heavy today, and it’s too soon to consider these recommendations, come back when you’re ready. In the meantime, be open to the light and look for the stars.