How’s your heart today?

How’s your heart today?

There is a cardiologist in California who asks this question to his patients at every appointment.  It appears to be a pretty standard question, but it is actually a super personal question if you think about it.  In a cardiologist’s office this question gets to diet, stress level, exercise, and amount of sleep.  However, if you’ve ever watched an epidsode of House, you know that people aren’t always the most honest in the doctors office.  To really get at the true status of a patients heart, a cardiologist runs stress tests.  The way your heart responds under pressure is the most accurate picture of your heart’s health.

Stress brings out the truth about your heart’s status; but not just our physical heart.

It’s so easy in daily life to put on the facade of being great.  When everything is easy and peaceful, we can convince ourselves and others that the state of our hearts are double-rainbows and unicorn happiness.  But what happens when your life gets hard, complicated, and messy?  How do you respond?  And what does that say about the state of your heart.

I’ve always considered myself to be super open; to a fault perhaps.  My best friend once said that one of my weaknessess was not protecting my heart.  I didn’t mind though, I wore my heart on my sleeve with pride.  Convinced that anyone in my life deserved privleges to all of me. 

In July/August, when I was waiting for test results from my mom’s colon cancer diagnosis… I shut down in a lot of ways; and I wonder now how much that says about the current state of my heart.  My not-talking feels like it is me being closed off from people; something I am not particularly happy about.  Maybe my heart isn’t as open as I thought it was. 

So, here’s what I decided: there is a part of me heart that is deeply afraid to rely on most people to understand the complexity of the pain that I carry with me, but I’m understand it.  The “stress test” I went through this year told me that my heart has grown to be protective and selective, but that doesn’t mean I am avoiding anything.  If the issue with my mom’s cancer was JUST cancer?  I would have been fine; but it wasn’t.  The diagnosis required a quick and magnified focus on the relationship I have with my mom.  The painful parts.  The parts I don’t talk about 99% of the time, because talking about them hurts like hell.  This is a part of me that is not meant to be shared with everyone.  However, there is no part about the pain I carry that isn’t known by someone else.  Everything about me is not known by everyone; and that’s ok.  Sharing everything with everyone is probably a good thing to grow out of.
So, the status of my heart?  Still working.  A little less open perhaps, but still known.  And hopeful.  Definitely hopeful.  There are some new walls up, sure, but I 100% trust that the right people will have NO problem getting through them at all.  Status of my optimism and faith?  Fully operational.
How’s your heart today?

7 Responses to “How’s your heart today?”

  1. I really love this post. I used to carry my heart on my sleeve too. I learned the hard way that it is not a good place to keep it. Now I'm very selective on who I give out that trust too. Today, my heart is optimistic.

  2. I go back and forth between wearing my heart on my sleeve and then hiding it away, deep in the recesses of my soul. Depends on the day I suppose.

    But overall? Right there with you on the hopeful thing. And the optimism thing. And guarding my heart at the same time, thing :)

  3. My heart is wanting to give yours a bear hug! I think there is a difference between being defensive and not letting others in and cherishing yourself enough to only let the best in. And I think you are finding that balance well! My heart is also unsatisfied because I've been living a life of small and safe love lately. I need to give a bit more in my relationships- especially the ones that matter. Thanks for reminding me. Love your face AND your precious heart!

  4. I definitely don't open up easily and hide my heart from people, sharing those deep, hidden feelings isnt easy.

    As Nora said, I'm with you on my heart being hopefully. I'm an eternal optimist, sometimes to a fault.

    Great post!

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