For young widows (and widowers), making decisions can be nerve-wrecking as you’re used to making decisions with your spouse. Everyday decisions like what to have for dinner, what to get the kids for their birthday or what to wear to the next job interview, all get aired out with your spouse before a final decision is made. Now that your spouse is gone – you feel like an Island in the Caribbean sea with no one to run these simple decisions by. I have been there so I know how it feels. Major financial decisions, like moving to a new city, buying a new car or changing homes, are cause for full meltdown.
The thing is as a widow (or widower), or a new divorcee, making those decisions with confidence and grace shows that you are moving in a positive direction. Here are some reasons why you need to be at that place right now:
1. You’re living in the shadows of your spouse, and that’s no way to live.
Going around in circles constantly asking yourself questions like – would he/she have done that? What would they think of my life now? will only make you feel bad about your decisions. If you are doubting why you took a job offer, or if you moved out of the house too early after your spouse died, or if you are regretting anything that you may have gotten yourself into, you are living in the past and in the shadows of your late spouse. It’s only human to wonder what would have happened if we got a chance to rewrite our stories, but you have to realize that hindsight is 20/20. Make your decisions with confidence and grace, because based on the information you had at the time, you thought it was the best thing for your life. Even though things may look different now, it’s impossible to go back and make a different decision.
2. You are not confident in your abilities.
Remember when you made that big life decision? How you went through the pros and cons? How you stayed up at night thinking over the alternatives? How you put your heart and soul into making the right choice for yourself? You picked the right decision for yourself back then. You did what was right for you because you know that you were strong enough to deal with the consequences. Do not underestimate yourself now.
3. You’re comparing yourself to others.
Don’t compare yourself to others – this is futile. You cannot compare your journey to others, everyone has a different path. It’s hard to see obstacles and tragedy as a hidden gift, but these gifts have the ability to teach wisdom and to transform lives. These types of “gifts” are not shiny objects wrapped neatly with a beautiful bow, but real life lessons in becoming more resilient.
4. You’re making bad decisions.
It’s during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep that your brain connects that instant replay to other relevant ideas. REM sleep is good for problem solving and decision making because your brain is putting the pieces together and trying out new alternatives. You gain insights that wouldn’t occur to you when you’re awake. So don’t make hasty decisions, wait until you’ve had time to sleep on it.