Sunday, 12 September 2010

The heart of the matter

Until earlier this year, a heart attack was just a phrase that applied to other people. Like many other people I'd always thought of the brain as being where the person resided - the rest was was just very sophisticated and beautiful plumbing.

How wrong I was, but then I've realised since my heart attack I was wrong about so many things - things I had taken for granted. I began to look again at the ordinary - the so called mundane - and I soon realised that there was no such thing.

I've always been a spiritual person - I considered myself one of the lucky ones - I knew from my own experience that there was more to life than met the eye - I'd witnessed how a person's life could turn around if they weren't too proud to ask for help.

I continued to study and to enquire about the basis of my faith until finally - I found to my surprise I had lost it - as if in passing through a series of strange and beautiful rooms I had found myself suddenly, inexplicably, out on the street. I didn't know it then but I think I had travelled as far as one could go with logic - with the head.

I read somewhere that to truly find something you must lose it completely - I hoped it was so.

When I had my heart attack I felt no fear just an overwhelming sense of regret that I wouldn't see my wife and children again.

In the weeks and months which followed I kept returning to this lack of fear I had felt. If anyone had asked me before hand I would have said that I would have been terrified - and yet in the event this wasn't so.

In those early days and in the weeks that followed I felt like a man walking near the edge of a cliff with no idea if I stood one pace or one mile from the edge. I was forced to confront the prospect of my own death for the first time in my life - it was both real and certain and kept me company from moment to moment. As time passed I found I had come to accept it - to own my shadow - and as the weeks have passed I've realised that in letting go of this fundamental fear there have been many positive changes which I am still working through.

Knowing with the heart is one of those changes - it does not contend, is infinitely patient and is a great source of peace.

God bless you.


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