Have you ever had a time when events in your life collided? This isn’t about how work and family sometimes collide, or how relationships and finances sometimes collide, or any other combination of parts in your life.
Let me tell you what happened to me recently. My last few sessions with my coach have focused on my heart, receiving self-love, and receiving the love of others. It’s definitely been a journey in that area. I have kept a tight hold on my heart for many years. The vision I get when I think of this is my hands holding my heart so tight, my fingernails and digging into my heart and it’s painful. But one finger at a time I’ve been able to loosen my grip.
I have begun working with a naturopath that specializes in holistic weight loss. On my first visit she mentioned that I had a loud heart murmur. This was news to me as I had just seen my cardiologist three weeks prior and had a clean bill of health. As we were discussing my heart history, my cardiologist showed up. You see, my cardiologist is married to my new naturopath. She had him listen to my heart and he referred me for some testing.
I’m going to digress just a little so you understand how my heart health is wrapped up in this. In 2006, in the middle of a move from one town to another, I experienced some symptoms of a heart attack and was taken by ambulance to a major hospital several hours away. After running many tests, I was diagnosed as having a heart attack, given instructions on how to live my life and medications to prevent future issues.
All went well for 4 years. Then, bam… While hiking up the only hill in the area, I felt the same symptoms I had in 2006. My son drove me to the hospital and again, they ran all the same tests. The diagnosis was that I had never had a heart attack and wasn’t having a heart attack. Diagnosis: Unknown. They couldn’t figure out what was happening; they sent me home with meds and a recommendation to reduce stress. (Right, I was an elementary school principal and was going through a divorce. No stress there.)
For a few years, I took the meds until it got to the point that I would get so dizzy when I stood up, I’d pass out. My cardiologist said it was the blood pressure medication I was taking and I needed to continue to take it, even though my blood pressure was not high. Against the doctor’s order, I discontinued the medication.
Nine years and not one symptom. Then boom, it happened again and I was in the ER telling them what they were going to find and what tests they would run. I even told them they would send me home with no clue what it was. I was right for the most part, except this doctor diagnosed it as “Broken Heart Syndrome”. When I was released I went to see a new cardiologist who said none of the records showed that it was Broken Heart Syndrome. He called it Vasospasm but was surprised because people normally only have one episode of this type of spasm. (I’m an overachiever.)
I wish I could tell you that was the end of my heart stuff, but one year later, deja vu. I was in the ER telling them what tests they would run, what they would find, and that they wouldn’t know what it was. I even got to watch as they did the angiogram. My fourth one. And again, my cardiologist called it a Vasospasm and they couldn’t figure out why I kept getting them. We talked about how the heart was connected to emotions and maybe there was some work I needed to do there.
Let’s get back to the naturopath. I went to my second visit just a few days after I worked with my coach to open my heart. My naturopath and I talked about the progress I was making with the program I was seeing her for. And then she hits me with “Can I share something else with you?” I’m always open to learning more so I said “sure”.
At this point, she began to tell me that she was feeling that my heart issues were not at all physical but were tied to my emotions. She felt I was keeping my heart protected so I didn’t get hurt and until I opened it up, I may continue to experience the “episodes”. Woo woo stuff. I had been suspecting something like that for a few years. And then she said to drop into my heart, feel the feels, and begin to receive my own love. My coach had said much the same thing during my last session. For me, this was confirmation that I’m on the right track.
“I'm saying, people do strange things to protect their hearts. But when you're afraid, your heart is closed, and it's never the right time, but when your heart is open, and you're willing to be brave enough to take a chance, the time is always right.”
― Axie Oh
So now what?
I am learning to be kind to myself.
I am learning self-forgiveness.
I am learning self-acceptance.
I am learning gratitude for who and what I am.
I am learning to receive my love.
You see, I can’t love anyone else if I don’t love myself. That's the hard fact. I work on this with clients all the time, and I’m still working on it myself. I’m seeing the progress I’m making and I’m celebrating. Just as I celebrate other people's progress.
I love myself more and more each day. And even when it’s difficult, I find something to love about myself. Each day it gets easier and easier. I’m looking forward to it becoming second nature and being able to receive the love of others. Want to join me?