From the Bottom of My Heart
Every year the halls in my grammar school would clamor with anticipatory energy as Valentine’s Day drew near. Little pastel heart candies purchased by the box were presented with varying degrees of élan to the surprise of many classmates. The girls would giggle and the boys would blush when they received the traditional confection. Its few words in contrasting color could create either ecstatic exclamations from the recipient or a sign of sadness for unmet expectations, so a giver must choose wisely, and from the heart.
I recall the hard choices of selecting just the right saying for the right valentine. In cases where shyness got the better of me, my technique was to leave the most meaningful one on her desk when the girl of my heart had stepped away for a moment. Then, from afar, I would watch her look around the room to see who her admirer might be, glancing aside when she looked my way. I relished my role as the mystery lover, leaving young ladies with dreams of knights and movie stars to consider. Once I had fulfilled my romantic obligations, I would pass off the silly hearts to buddies and eat the inappropriate or duplicate ones, thus pre-empting any misunderstandings or conflicts.
Ancient peoples so respected the heart that they considered it the seat of intelligence while for us it symbolizes the center of human emotions. Our language reflects this; we may be heartbroken, speak from the heart, commune heart to heart, feel heartache or follow our heart. The connection between heart and soul is becoming clearer to me and I believe that seeing with my heart enables me to be both truthful with myself and confident I’ve made the best decisions possible for myself and others.
This month brings Linda Sechrist’s up-to-date feature article, “Rethinking Heart Health.” I wish my father was aware of the perspectives of these pioneering doctors. A bomber pilot in WWII, he experienced severe stress at an early age and I wonder if the repercussions contributed to later cardiovascular diseases he experienced prior to his early demise. His lifestyle choices were similar to his colleagues at the time, who regularly indulged in heavy lunches accompanied by alcohol, desserts and cigars. Life was good, but not sustainable.
While he was learning about heart medications, my wife and I were learning about healthy foods, which she now puts to good use as a busy nutritional consultant. It became clear the stress, diet and lifestyle choices of an earlier generation could not be mine. I know my two sons have benefited from the many healthy choices their parents offered.
We can all treat ourselves to love and compassion on a regular basis. It feels good to let significant others into our heart, share our heartfelt desires with friends and family and always listen to our hearts.
From the bottom of my heart,
Don Moore, Publisher