From my perspective as a nurse and as a spiritual being, I believe the human heart is made manifest the most perfect mirror of the universe. The universe speaks in laws that are unavoidable (like the law of gravity) and one of them is called the Law of Correspondence. This states that through the spiritual, mental, and finally physical planes of existence, patterns show themselves through each plane and always in the same way. “As above, so below, as below, so above”.
There is harmony, agreement, and a close connection between the physical, mental and spiritual realms and no separation to anything since everything in the Universe, including you, comes from the same source. Just as the universal energy of your spirit flows through your body keeping you vital, the heart equally provides the vital flow of blood energy through your body. The heart also circulates and connects you to human emotions and experiences of love, joy, loss, grief, drama, sadness, and inspiration or motivation to build a better life. When we apply this universal law to the heart and see it as the duality of a vital organ in your chest cavity AND as a spiritual symbol, it shows us everyday how to love ourselves and how to practice balance in our lives and in our emotions.
Let’s first get down to the heart of the matter, or rather the matter of the heart. While the ‘heart of the matter’ is the basic, central or critical point of an issue, so is your physical heart. Located in the middle of your thoracic cavity, the physical matter of your heart is the size of a fist beating roughly 115,00 times per day. It is central and critical to your life, as it’s the heart that makes the life.
In the early stages of human development, the heart was the first organ that started to develop, beating and circulating blood in your tiny embryonic body at only 4 weeks in the womb. It was the first consistent thing you had and the will be the last consistent thing you have; until death do you part!
The heart loves you by providing blood and needed nutrients to your body every second of the day, and it also requires the love and vital nutrients it gives to itself. With each beat of the heart, blood circulates through its own coronary vessels, the vessels right on the heart. In that way, the heart understands the importance of self love.
The heart has four chambers and two sides, a right and a left side. The right side receives un-oxygenated blood from your body and the left side gives oxygenated blood back to your body. The heart is a pump that is built to is built to say,
“You must have balance in life; there must be a give and take”.
As an emergency room nurse, I see patients with mechanical hearts, transplanted hearts, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, or with chest pains. When someone critical arrives to my department, I get down to the heart in their matter and I place them on a heart monitor. Why? Because the human heart has a story that I can read. I can read its rhythm, its pressure, its rate. Even the tone of the valves, the “lub-dub”, tells me something as they close with each beat. These physical signs help me assess the situation and intervene as a healer to help bring the living person it belongs to, back to a state of balance.
Imbalance is where I see people get stuck. The majority of people I see in my emergency department are going through a personal drama or trauma. Perhaps they are in the midst of a life crisis or a time of anxiety. Or maybe they have just had a heart attack and need resuscitative fluids or medications to help their heart in the short term. Regardless of the short term needs, here is what I have learned from my patients over the last 12 years about basic principles of balance in the long term game of life.
There is a story in the heart and a story of the heart:
“What you give out, you will get back”.
When you experience intense and regular suffering, pain, negative emotions and thoughts connected to different negative events and circumstances, you carry pain in your heart. When you don’t deal with the pain through emotional release, the pain stays inside. When you leave that pain inside and don’t release it, in a system that is naturally built to flow and release, it has nowhere to go and stays stuck inside. We cut ourselves off from the natural energy flow of the universe, right through the heart. We become “cold hearted”, hard-hearted, rigid, unfeeling, emotionless, and numb. Imagine what that looks like to literally build a wall around the heart. A rigid wall around a beating heart to the point the muscle no longer has room to expand to fill it’s chambers with blood. To me, as a intuitive nurse, this is diastolic heart failure, the inability of the heart to relax. Remember how the heart has a story that can be read and heard? Well, the heartbeat associated with diastolic heart failure sounds like someone saying “a-STIFF-wall”. “A-STIFF-wall” sound comes from a rigid left ventricle, when the heart is too stiff to relax and can’t give fully to your body. In your body, this can further manifest in the heart as chest pain or high blood pressure.
Remember, this vital organ in your chest cavity is also a spiritual symbol to show us everyday how to love ourselves and how to practice balance in our lives and in our emotions.
“What you give out, you will get back”.
4 beginning steps to living with a balanced and open heart:
- Be open to receive what is given to you. Ways to practice this include: accept a favor or a compliment. Get outside in nature, as it is a free gift. Get a hug from someone. Say “yes” to a new routine instead of “no”.
- Allow yourself to feel the feelings you have without judgement. Cry when sad, laugh when happy, get pissed as shit when you are angry. Know that emotions are momentary and completely okay.
- Practice random acts of kindness and notice how you feel when doing it. When I am having a bad day, I buy a $2 newspaper from my local homeless person who sells them outside the grocery store. That simple act helps them and I feel so uplifted.
- Practice loving yourself. Create one or a few daily affirmations to say out loud (try it for a week), such as:
- “My heart gives and receives love naturally”
- “I am love”
- “My heart beats for me and loves me”
The heart of the matter of our lives is that most of us are not taught how to really love or allow it to be okay to love, especially loving ourselves. It is hard work. We fumble, make mistakes, say the wrong things, cringe against pain and vulnerability. When in doubt, stop and LISTEN to your heart. FEEL the pulse with your hand. Your heart loves you. It gives you the pulse of life and love every second of the day. This pulse is your pulse of life, the love for you and your life. This connection to your Self is the most important matter of living with a balanced heart. If you have experienced grief, heartache, loss, or sorrow, know that one cure of these emotions is naturally built inside of you. You have an organ that can teach you exactly what to do.