Happy ALoha Friday everyone!
This is the last Friday of Heart Health and Awareness month and I wanted to share some heartfelt words with you to fuel your Heart gratitude for the rest of the year.
I have been musing about heart “dis” ease and the metaphor our broken hearts can hold for us. Literally, broken hearts are subject to oxygen deprivation because the vessels are blocked, starving the heart of life giving nutrients. Heart disease and it’s risk factors and causes shift over time. What causes our hearts to wear down, grow big, beat out of sync, clog up? Is it Cholesterol? Saturated fat? Type A hostile behavior? Diabetes? Obesity? Drug Abuse? Underneath all the clinical and functional reasons, there is heartbreak. Every cardiac patient I have known who has had a cardiac event or has symptoms of an impending one has experienced heartbreak is some way. Life is heart breaking, is it not? Really, no one is immune because if you are alive, that fact alone is your biggest risk factor. If love or grief has been a source of heartbreak, you are everyone. If the heart is the symbol for love, the center of our well-being and if every act is an act of love or a cry for love, it explains why heart disease is still the biggest cause of death among men and women.
The language of love, life’s metaphors for empathy, sympathy, grief, joy, gratitude, happiness, sadness uses the heart as the symbolic representation of our life’s experiences. ” Oh, that just breaks my heart, That makes my heartache, my heart aches for you, that makes my heart swell, bless your heart, he has a big heart”, etc. Our life’s passages and transitions all call to the heart or await it’s response. Yes, every act may be an act of love or a cry for love, it is also a heartache, a heart swell and a heartbreak. If we experience any of these and we all do, how do we cope? Excess of food, alcohol or drugs, grief, depression, self-pity, loss of identity (if we loved and they are gone, who am I?), and what about the celebration of births, marriages, new beginnings, etc.? If our lives are meant to experience heartaches, why aren’t we able to use this magnificent symbol and all it’s physical, metaphysical, spiritual and emotional manifestations to build resilience? If we could, we would know to love bigger, love more and love ourselves enough to collectively love each other, filling the cracks or breaks in our hearts with more love.
How do we nurture the life and love giving symbol that is the largest commonality of universal connection? Start with awareness and mindful gratitude of the human experience. My past experience in Cardiac Rehabilitation helped patients recover from their events and change their lifestyle but none of it focused on prevention per se. I was exposed to the damaged hearts, the bypassed hearts, the stented hearts, the hearts that were “attacked”, hearts beating out of sync beating instead to it’s chosen rhythm that to me now symbolizes the solution instead of the problem. How else can it cry out for love? Even our hearts, the center of our soul, are ultimately guided in one way or another, (“follow your heart”). In ignoring our heart’s desires, heartaches and heartbreaks, we choose to self-medicate consciously or unconsciously with poor choices in how we nurture or numb ourselves to the pain. What if the heart is just crying for love? What if the cracks are so huge, we fill it with the plaque of grief, sadness, despair, anger or hate? And what if we filled it instead with love, sharing, connection, gratitude, kindness, hope and desire?
Life gives us multiple opportunities as we pass through the stages and transitions. From birth to death, we are one day older, one day wiser, another day when we can choose whether to love or cry out for love. If we could express this and turn it into human growth and evolvement potential, our hearts would respond in kind. The only thing that would matter would be, did I act out of love today? Did I give love? Did I feel loved? Did I love myself enough to feel total calm at the end of the day? If I am grieving, did I reach out for love? So many chances to fill our heart cracks with love, because if you reach out or you are sought out, hearts fill up.
The reason hearts remain my passion and my focus is because they are the reason we are alive. The potential to heal our hearts and heal our lives affects everyone we connect to. For this Aloha Friday, what act of love will you express for yourself or to others? Bathe your own heart with gratitude for the millions of heartbeats and opportunities it has given you. Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you. Bless your hearts, each and every one of you. Make it a Heartfelt and Love filled weekend. Mahalo and ALoha.