“Above all else, guard your heart. For out of it flows all the issues of life.” ~King Solomon
Healing Hearts and Healing Lives
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” ~King Solomon
The heart of the 12-step model of recovery involves turning the heart from selfishness and self-centeredness toward a higher power and service toward others. Part of that process involves a fearless and moral inventory during which the painful images of the past are cleared away, allowing for the heart to be filled with light and love. Heart-to-heart sharing of stories results in healing and changed lives. Like the caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, this deep healing of the heart results in authentic transformation. Healing begins in the heart. How can anyone recover from addiction or any other issue without healing the heart?
What Is the Heart?
Have you ever given your heart to someone or known a person who wears his heart on his sleeve? When someone says, “I love you with all my heart”, you know he is not just talking about the physical organ in the chest that pumps life-giving blood throughout the body. What is the heart? Where is it? How do you find it?
Imagine yourself late for work and desperately looking around the house for your keys. Then, after looking everywhere and expressing the gamut of emotions you finally discover they were in your hand the whole time. Sound familiar?
According to Larry Napier, founder of the Rediscovery of the Heart Institute, the Hebrew word for heart (Lev) means returning and living from our spirit-fed garden homeland. Ancient manuscripts, such as the Book of Proverbs, describe the heart as a garden out of which flow all the issues of life.
Remember when you were just a gleam in your father’s eye? You were a divine spark of love and light yearning to manifest into the material realm of form of substance. You raced like chariots of fire against countless other sperm cells until you alone reached the final destination – the single egg cell inside your mother’s womb and you were conceived. How did you win against such tremendous odds? Were you destined to win? Was someone looking out for you? Maybe it was all just a matter of chance. If so, you were miraculously fortunate and wonderfully made.
Remember when your heart began to beat in separate rhythm from the oneness of your mother’s womb? Was it during that first gasping breath of life that cried, “Who am I?” when your heart first awakened? Or was it sometime in another space and time?
Remember when you transformed from a single cell to the multi-faceted being you are today, the fractal iterations of creation expanding like a universe through infinite space and time?
Remember when your heart danced beyond the sun and we were one?
What if you could remember the future and change the past?
From a dark void of nothingness to the ever-changing complexity that you have now become, your heart sees and knows everything. Remember?
Imagine the Heart
“What is essential is invisible to the eye. For it is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”
~ Antoine Saint de Exupery, The Little Prince
We often imagine the heart as a valentine-shaped organ in the center of our chest. We give valentines and red roses to those we love as symbols of our heart. What if we were all wrong? What if the heart was further back and higher up?
Picture Mount Hermon, the tallest mountain in Israel, glistening snow-capped, the source of life-giving water for the surrounding land below. The water rushes down into the heart-shaped Sea of Galilee, full of life, and out the other side to the Jordan River. The river snakes through the Jordan Valley downward to the lowest place in the world below sea level, the Dead Sea. Imagine Mount Hermon representing the spiritual source of life. The Sea of Galilee represents the heart as the spirit flows into it and the River Jordan is the soul that snakes through the valley into the Dead Sea – the physical body. The spirit of life fills the heart daily and flows down into the body through the soul. The Sea of Galilee is full of life because it has a continual flow of fresh water in and out. The Dead Sea only receives water in, but does not have an outlet. The water evaporates back into the sky to form clouds and eventually rain and snow back to the mountain and valleys below.
How does this relate to the heart? What if your heart received fresh life flowing into it every day and allowed that life to flow outward in the form of love and service? What if you imagined the water as the energy of life that awakens you every morning like the rising sun? How can you let that life flow through you and outward in love?
Where is Your Heart?
Did Tony Bennett really leave his heart in San Francisco? Is your home where your heart is? Some would say that the heart that we have been describing resides in the physical heart of the body. But what if you had a heart transplant? What about those who have been granted the miracle of life-saving surgery with the implantation of an artificial heart? Would you lose all of the images and feelings of your heart with a physical operation? Obviously not.
But have you ever heard of a successful brain transplant? What if your deepest heart of hearts existed in your brain? According to Nobel-prize winning scientist Roger Sperry, the brain is divided into two hemispheres, each with a different function. The right brain experiences more in images, feelings, and nonlinear ways, whereas the left brain experiences in analytical, logical, and linear processes. What if we discovered that the right brain was the seat of our deepest image-making and visionary capacities or the place we often call our heart?
On the other hand, what if the heart was located in a realm beyond time and space known by quantum physicists as non-local reality? Then even the most skilled neurosurgeon or cardiac specialist could never really find it.
Imagine your right brain as a great lion, the king of the jungle, powerful, visionary, and wild. Picture your left brain as a strong ox that works hard and plows the fields methodically. Both are essential. But what if your lion was locked in a cage and the ox was in charge?
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is greater than knowledge.” He didn’t do well in school and could not even speak until he was five years old. He discovered his great theory of relativity by imagining himself riding on a beam of light. Many of his great ideas came to him as he played the violin. What if he had never been able to release the inner lion of left-brained ox linear thinking that told him that it could not be done? Can you see the possibilities?
The Language of the Heart
What was the original language of our birth? How did we relate to the world and to each other before the words were formed? Regardless of the country of our origin or the language that we learned through our culture, what do we all share in common? We all experience images and feelings in our hearts. When you look into someone’s eyes you can see and feel the warmth of their affection as they sincerely express the words, “I love you with all my heart.” Even if they spoke another language, you could see and feel the depths of compassion in their heart. When you see a child playing you can experience the joy in their hearts. Our hearts can see and feel without words. Images and feelings are the language of the heart. How can you show your love and joy today in ways beyond words?
Awakening the Heart
All of the issues of life flow from the heart. The heart is the place where all healing begins. The heart is where the home is.
Are you ready to break the ties that bind you and release the lion within your heart? What if the key was in your hands the whole time? Look to the light within you and all around you. Now is the time for the rediscovery of the heart. It is time to awaken your heart and let your lion free. Look to the light and love that lives within your heart and longs to be let loose. Imagine the possibilities. What if you awaken from the dream and realize who you really were meant to be and what you were here to do? What if...?