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A Shield for the Heart

A Shield for the Heart

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Ė Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A lot of us shield our hearts. We are so nervous about the potential for it to be broken by the loss of love, that we inadvertently keep it from use. Shielding our heart can become such a deep and prolonged habit that we often walk around with a shield we donít even know we are wearing. These shields come in so many unique shapes and sizes that they can be confused for something else.† So common is the practice that it is a rare meeting of two open hearts.

The tragedy here is that our heart is strong. In fact, it could be argued that it might be the strongest muscle in the body. As our hardest working organ, our heart never sleeps; beating over two billion times in a life and circulating 50 million gallons of blood. Impossible to think that one could ever take this organ for granted, but so constant is the heart; we rarely celebrate its function or recognize its strength. Instead we shield it, protecting it from the interactions that actually strengthen it and depriving ourselves of the emotional wealth that it is made to manifest.

Physically it is the breast that shields the heart. The breasts, organs hardwired to some of our most sensual responses, capable of nourishing our progeny, are far more than the female adornments that get most of the attention. Illness in the heart center, whether in the breasts or the heart itself can be interpreted as shield damage. The rate of illness in this region of our body is mind-boggling. Breast cancer affects one in eight women everyday. Heart disease kills one in four women. Just a year ago, I sat anxiously in a waiting room to find out if I would join the ranks of millions of women who fight this disease.

The nights of prayer in between the test and the results, which were thankfully negative, led me to think about how in holding old wounds or preserving painful emotional distance we do invisible and often unspoken damage to our heart center. It is not that big a leap to see how the inability and unwillingness to open up our heart to the challenge and reward of relationships might have something to do with the rampant degree of life- threatening illness of the heart center that impacts such a large percentage of people. The truth of this is perhaps found in the healing that happens in the context of these illnesses.

Much of the deepest healing that goes on during the treatment of breast cancer or heart disease happens as time becomes scarce and the truth of our heart connections demand full attention. Some of the most memorable stories that celebrate transition, survival or pay homage to the losses in these illnesses share the heartís revelation of opening. They celebrate the connection and reconnection to self and those most dear.

As we come full circle again to pay attention to Breast Cancer Awareness month, let us consider how we can all cut the straps to the shields that bind us. Letís dedicate the month to discovering how strong our heart center can be by opening it. It might be the most curative practice we can undertake in our own life and who knows the good it might bring to this profoundly wounded planet.

Read more: Cancer, Love, Making Love Sustainable, Relationships, Sex,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.† In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,† she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice.†It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." †The book is available on ebook.† Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


+ add your own
4:54AM PST on Jan 31, 2013


12:26AM PST on Jan 29, 2013

Thanks muchly!

3:12AM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Thank you

12:27AM PST on Jan 29, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:39AM PDT on Oct 14, 2010

Thank you for this post, always important to remember!

3:29AM PDT on Oct 14, 2010

yes, you're right.. LOVE comes from the heart.. So always guard your heart. Let nothing can defile your heart.. Ajah!

3:01AM PDT on Oct 10, 2010

Thank you.

3:38PM PDT on Oct 8, 2010

Thank you!

9:39AM PDT on Oct 8, 2010

very nice read, thanks

9:13AM PDT on Oct 8, 2010

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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