I’m a newbie on listening to my heart after years of shutting it out—and as a result of this former heart-alienation, pain is now front and center in my day-to-day experience. Not heart-clutching pain, as in “I feel like I’m having a heart attack!,” but a dull ache in my chest. I want this feeling to go away, engage with it in any way except quiet attentiveness to its message. My head, like a senseless and power-hungry dictator, lists the many ways to banish the hurt. Often, the pursuit of something good to eat comes to mind—currently taking the form of a white chocolate Cliff bar. (Co-op and gas station treats have no doubt made their way into my subconscious—they are the only food outlets that I’ve seen the inside of for several months).
Second on my list of heartache banishments is a new work challenge. (In fact, I used to come up with new careers about every seven years, probably just to keep that ache in check.) Next up, the pursuit of someone to love. Or ruminating about what’s not right in my life. Do I look old? Should I change my hair color? Wear makeup and heels? An endless repertoire. Not thinking is not in my mind’s skill-set.
Did you know that the heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body? “The electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG),” Institute of HeartMath Director of Research Rollin McCraty wrote in the paper, “The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Communication Within and Between People.” It takes a lot of pushing back to keep the heart’s communication down. That’s a lot of Cliff bars.
For the full monte of information about heart communication, read The Heart’s Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Our Heart Energy by Paul Pearsall. In it, the late Dr. Pearsall explained that the heart also thinks, remembers, communicates with other hearts, helps regulate immunity, and contains stored information that continually pulses through our bodies.
Anyway, about me, my heart, and the pain. Rather than down several Cliff bars, or start a new career, it seems that the more prudent thing to do is just to stay with it. Stay with the very icky sensations until they pass. Perhaps I’ll find that my heart, like an abandoned child suddenly surrounded by lovingly attuned adults, will yield to the sensations of connection and love after a time of acting out the intense pain of loss. Maybe, given some time, the heart un-defends, uncovers, and starts to communicate like never before. Sends out the electromagnetic waves in spades. That would be lovely.