How does the heart start beating? This has always fascinated me. The heart is the first organ to form, and it begins an energy pulse that does not stop until death 16 days after conception, earlier then thought. That beating just starts, like magic. While researching how the heart starts beating, my daughter informed me that “God starts the heart beating.”
How do you know, I asked.
“I just know.” she replied, then continued…”He starts it by saying a blessing on it…no one knows what the blessing is though.” She said this while playing minion dash on the I-phone and not looking up. Simple…sounds true.
The heart,” Helminski continues, is the antenna that receives the emanations of subtler levels of existence. The human heart has its proper field of function beyond the limits of the superficial, reactive ego-self. Awakening the heart, or the spiritualized mind, is an unlimited process of making the mind more sensitive, focused, energized, subtle, and refined, of joining it to its cosmic milieu, the infinity of love.2
Is the heart more then just a muscle? Is it a spiritual muscle as well? Is it intuitive, does it actually break? Science says yes, yes it does.
Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy is a sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium, producing something similar to a heart attack. When the body becomes overwhelmed, primarily due to stress, hormones such as metanephrine and normetanephrine are released in excess with addition to proteins such as neuropeptide Y, brain natriuretic peptide, and serotonin.
“Our hypothesis is that massive amounts of these stress hormones can go right to the heart and produce a stunning of the heart muscle that causes this temporary dysfunction resembling a heart attack,” says cardiologist Ilan Wittstein, M.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute. “It doesn’t kill the heart muscle like a typical heart attack, but it renders it helpless.”
So why? Why do we go through this? Why as humans do we have this intense experience of heartbreak, it seems that no one is immune. The best answer I have found so far is that from Richard Rohr, “And to be fully honest, I think the heart needs to be broken and broken open at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others. As Simeon told Mary, “A sword will pierce your heart, so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare. (Luke2:35)
The pain of this…does feel like death.
But we don’t die.
And somehow we must heal…how do you heal a broken heart? Maybe the answer lies in connecting with the physical organ itself, listening to it beat, running, walking, breathing. Maybe this organ really is where God resides, this heart must be broken until it opens. Much like a lotus flower blooming out of mud. Rohr gives us some advice, “I think the heart space is opened by right brain activities such as music, art, dance, nature, fasting, poetry, games, life affirming sexuality, and of course the art of relationship itself.”
So…my recipe on how to heal a broken heart…a recipe I am using on myself:
Breath, place your hand on your chest and feel your heart beat
Walk, run, skip, stroll through nature.
Sink your toes into grass
Laugh when something is funny
Listen to whatever music suits your fancy
Go on a 30 day fast or cleanse from something you feel is addictive or not serving you
Go to the art museum
Listen to rain
Cry…because tears are like rain, they water your soul.
Pick a 12 step program…any one will do…
Take a tablespoon of honey before bed.
Know that…it takes time. Don’t rush it. I’m over 17 months in to healing, so I speak from experience. Know you are not alone…we are in this thing together. Sure, I don’t know you, but if you are brokenhearted I do know you. “You are the secret thoughts of many laid bare.” I know you very well, because we share this same experience of love, of making mistakes, of being human, of smiling when we are sad.
Know that, you never stop loving that person, it’s normal and okay and you are not crazy. People who tell you, “Get over it, you should be over it, move on, date someone new” haven’t truly loved. Because if you have, and you were loved back, you did touch God for a moment. I believe love is what God wants for all of us, and the only reason it ends or hurts or breaks us is because of us…our personal failure to stay in that place of divinity and follow God’s teachings on love: love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end.
Love never comes to an end…however…when requested, it does let go. Ego hangs on…love as Maya Angelou says…Liberates.
And healing a broken heart…is liberating yourself with love. Liberation isn’t freedom from pain it’s acceptance of what is…and I think…that brings peace.