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If the heart is fine . . . Mara Ket/Unsplash

If the heart is fine . . .

A couple of weeks ago I sat down and found my heart—which is apparently quite important to me—was racing. After a few minutes everything calmed down and I didn’t think much of it. Being nothing but a guy, I went back to watching a basketball game.

The next day however, something new. I felt edgy, almost anxious. And I had nothing to be anxious about. Hmmm.

At some point I realized my sensations were the same as I experienced many years earlier. Back then, those sensations—over a year or two--finally led to a physical event I won’t go into. But I ended up in the emergency room. My blood pressure had soared through the roof. 

So, here I was, with some of those same feelings. I asked Jenn, my wife and when needed, my nurse, to take my blood pressure. Boom. Too high. Not like it was years ago, but high enough to say, “Let’s call the doc.”

We went in a day later and sure enough, I needed to make some changes. Slow the salt intake, take exercise to the next level, drop five pounds, all that stuff. And a new medication to get me back on track.

In short, my heart needs fixin’. 

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A couple of weeks later, I’m now walking more and doing so with extra energy. The saltshaker is mysteriously missing at dinner. At breakfast, I’m greeted by things like oatmeal and a pile of fruit. My goal is simple, to lick this thing so I can get off this new medication. My doctor—who runs about 90 marathons a year and puts me to shame exercise-wise—thinks I can do it. But thankfully, no marathons are required.

Jenn saw it coming

Though she never said anything, Jenn knew something was up well before I did. After our visit to the physician, she said, “You just weren’t quite ‘yourself’ lately.”

Aha. She didn’t say I was overly snippy or anxious. But Jenn pointed out that situations that once didn’t affect me at all were somehow more bothersome to me. 

Why? Because my heart—physically—wasn’t quite right. This affected my demeanor and my emotions. Interesting. A struggling heart can affect so much.

From the physical to the spiritual

What’s fascinating about Jenn’s observations is that while she couldn’t put her finger on the why of my behavior, she saw the signs of a heart which needed fixin’. For me, it was a physical thing (I hope that’s all it is), but I’m reminded that our spiritual heart needs regular attention, too.

Here’s the thing for our pregnancy help community. If we have spiritual heart issues, our clients may not know exactly why we are a bit short with them, or why we’re not joyful, but they will pick up on the signs of an unhealthy spiritual heart. And our unhealthy spiritual heart can sometimes affect their decision-making processes. 

At the least, it’s a distraction they don’t need. At the most, our unhealthy heart can drive them away.

Spiritual blood pressure cures

When it comes to a spiritual heart, we know a pill won’t help. But there are antidotes to help get our spiritual heart in order and prevent a “hardening of the hearteries.”

For one, we can encourage each other. The writer of Hebrews says we need to “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called today.” Good idea. If focus is on building each other up, there’s no time for creating spiritual heart decay by negative words, gossip and all of that.

Another idea? When we see a negative situation, either within our team or with a client, let’s look for the good. It is our way of searching for ripe fruit instead of slogging through junk food which seems tasty for the moment, but we will regret later. 

The results

If a client can sense when our heart is not quite right, the opposite is also true. She—or he—will also see when we have a healthy heart. It’s seen in our interactions with each other and when we communicate with the person needing our help.

A happy, healthy heart is one of joy, rarely fazed or distracted by challenges and circumstances. A healthy heart brings better connection, too, leading to questions like, “Why are you so happy?” Or “There’s something different about you. What is it?”

Tweet This: Our clients can see a happy, healthy heart. Let's encourage each other. When we see a negative situation, let’s look for the good.

These questions lead to opportunities to share our secrets to a joyful heart, secrets which we want everyone to know and experience.

Life lessons from . . . life

It’s interesting how life’s challenges—such as a troubled ticker—help us gain perspective on the more vital, spiritual side of life.

Perhaps, my little wake-up call will draw me closer to the spiritual heart I wish to exhibit each day. Let’s hope so. It’s something to think about as I head outside today.

It’s time to go for a brisk walk. But no marathons. My heart can only take so much.

Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at www.kirkwalden.com