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Love and the Heart: Literally and Figuratively

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

By Kelly Deeny

With every irregular beat of my heart I am surrounded by love. From my family, my friends and whatever religious/spiritual figure you call God or Goddess.

It’s interesting to me how we symbolize love, emotion and feeling with the heart. “It warms the heart” or “My heart is filled with so much happiness.” I don’t quite know why or how this connection came to be but I feel deep in my heart that we’re right!

The rhythm of my heart differs from what’s standard but that’s the way I live my life—seeking to embrace that which makes me unique. I’m stubborn, opinionated and passionate about certain topics and I wholeheartedly recognize and accept that about myself. But one of the main aspects of my personality that I’d like to change is my tendency to be hard on myself. At times it’s warranted but occasionally—no, frequently—I immediately go into “low self-esteem” mode and second guess my actions. I’m better at recognizing it than 20 years ago, but there’s still a great deal of improvement to be made.

I truly think part of my issue deals with my desire to have what I do and say be meaningful. I don’t see the benefit in doing something just to do it. There has to be purpose behind my choices. Meaning behind the words I choose in my writings. Something important to say when talking to people. I spend more time listening because I don’t want to start a conversation for the mere sake of breaking the silence. Silence can speak volumes with us interrupting.

I’ve mentioned before my romantic history leaves a great deal to improve upon. Because I keep my “heart” so protected I miss out on a lot. I tell myself that I’m avoiding heartbreak until I find the “one.” While I do believe we all have a perfect match, I don’t think I’ll find him with my “heart” closed to love. Besides, sitting at home doesn’t help much either! I’m starting to wonder whether I have this subconscious belief that my CHD will somehow impede my ability to live a full, long life. Do I want to burden someone else with that possibility? Is it better to keep him from falling in love and then one day having to say goodbye?

My VSD was repaired 33 years ago, with only a residual murmur and a scar to remain. The likelihood of any further complications is rare but I don’t deny that I have a deep-seated worry. It’s there and affecting the choices I make, as much as I’ve tried to tell myself otherwise. With each letter I type I understand my actions more and more.

So, for each irregular heartbeat I am reminded how fragile I treat my heart—both physically and emotionally, literally and symbolically.


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