Some of you may or may not know, but I have had a family member recently undergo a heart transplant. Without it, he would not have a future. So, with my family very focused on this surgery, I started to think (go figure 🙂 ) I started to think about this slightly unimaginable act. He is getting a new heart. Wow. I mean it isn’t like you can just go to the doctor and say “I want a new heart, mine is getting a little worn out.” This is a vital organ. The only way you can receive one, is through another’s passing. As many people my age would say, “that’s deep.”
My thought process then went on to “oh my goodness that would freak me out!” Can you imagine what it would be like waking up and realizing you have something inside of you that you weren’t born with, something as important as your heart- the very rhythm of your life. I would probably have a panic attack. Then, I would think ” do I deserve this?” I mean how profound is it to think that someone else’s “the end” was your whole new beginning. How was that fair? I know I would definitely want to use that heart to the best of my ability. I would not be a failure when it came to always having an open heart.
That then leads to my next point. We should always be using our hearts. I know that with Valentine’s Day coming up we are going to see a lot of ❤ floating around everywhere. But Valentine’s Day is so entirely off and really distracts from what a heart truly symbolizes. Yes, I agree that it has to do with love, but it is also more than mushy “I love you’s” and flowers and candy. So, so much more.
Now when I think of my heart I envision a place inside of me that keeps me alive. Not just anatomically, but spiritually. No one can live without a heart- in more ways than one. I recently read a short story from Mark Nepo’s “The Awakening”. It goes like this:
“In India, there is a story about a kind, quiet man who would pray in the Ganges River every morning. One day after praying, he saw a poisonous spider struggling in the water and cupped his hands to carry it ashore. As he placed the spider on the ground, it stung him. Unknowingly, his prayers for the world diluted the poison.
The next day the same thing happened. On the third day, the kind man was knee deep in the river, and, sure enough, there was the spider, legs frantic in the water. As the man went to lift the creature yet again, the spider said, “Why do you keep lifting me? Can’t you see I will sting you every time, because that is what I do.” And the kind man cupped his hands about the spider, replying, “Because that is what I do.”
His point with this story was that being kind, helping others, LOVING is what we do. It just made me think of the young boy whose heart now belongs to my uncle. That wasn’t an easy thing for his family to decide, but they did. Because that is just what our hearts our for, that is just what we do.