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As I flew across the country today, I contemplated a little discussion that followed an image from one of my Flickr contacts. I took some time to jot down my thoughts, but since they were a bit lengthy, it felt as if it would be rude to post in the thread under the photograph. So I'll share here...
I was around 23 years old when a doctor first detected my heart murmur. Five years later I became pregnant with my daughter and needed an ultra sound to check out this little noise in my chest. Thankfully, the noise was/is just a noise and not indicative of anything negative. Still, I wonder about the psychic significance of a heart that "murmurs." My heart grew exponentially with the birth of each of my children, and flexes and swells with every one of their achievements. And I know that each of them have wonderful, thoughtful hearts themselves.
I've given a lot of consideration to the notion of a broken heart. What human being hasn't felt this phenomena? I've certainly used the expression enough. But lately, I've begun to think that it's a misnomer...not quite accurate. Sure, that tight, constricting, painful sensation can feel like a break...but if our hearts truly broke, we'd be dead, no? That stress we feel in our hearts, comes from our minds...what we think and how we perceive a situation. When our expectations aren't met, particularly in a relationship, it can feel anywhere from disappointing to downright devastating...I know this all too well
I'll admit to being an odd mix of pragmatist and idealist. Oh I can throw a hissy fit with the best of them, but ultimately it's a futile and wasted effort. And if in so doing I allow my heart to grow small and become fearful, needing vigilant protection, that sort of defeats my purpose of expanding my consciousness. To experience in this life the connectedness of all, how I'm not just my brother's keeper but am truly my brother (or sister as the case may be) I want to gain the understanding and wisdom that separation is an illusion. Okay that, that right there is my idealist side.On the other hand, I don't hold many idealistic notions regarding relationships, as this is where my pragmatism emerges. Sure, I know the rush of infatuation and thinking I've found the one and only (of whom there might actually be 2 or 3 during a lifetime without things ending but simply transforming and the heart remaining open). I rather reject the notion of soulmate, because that becomes so exclusive and fraught with, well, expectation. In reality it takes years to know a person, day in and day out, living and working together towards common goals, learning who they are with you and you with them...that is where compassion develops, love grows and intimacy blooms. Romance can (and frequnetly does) eventually subside (at least in a stereotypical sense), but deep abiding love with compassion and intimacy are what mature, healthy and growth oriented relationships are made of. And in these, the heart doesn't necessarily beat faster, but it beats steady and strong.