Broken Heart Syndrome

mintobrown 01Pouring my heart and soul into family, friends and work, I took little or no time for renewal this summer. My attitude was arrogant: “I am tough. I can take care of it all.”

My heart knew differently. It felt the stress of my worry over my baby brother and his stroke; my mother and her dementia; the start-up I had shared with friends and family (though I continued to feel solely responsible for its success, because even if I’d brought them in as partners, they were still depending upon me to make it all work. Right?)

It suffered from grief over Robin William’s demise, followed quickly by the self-death of a friend’s nephew, then the twelfth anniversary of my own husband’s suicide. The seventh anniversary of my father’s passing. Relationship woes. Money worries. The push to complete my first book.

The result was an event called stress cardiomyopathy, the heart’s way of saying, “Enough! I can’t take any more.” A warning shot across the bow, this terrifying experience brought me to an abrupt halt.

I’m convalescing now, sitting before the divine with a contrite (and slowly healing) heart. What do you have for me, God?

“You have unique gifts. There is so much you can do! But you aren’t called to all things: take your talent and focus on a few precious tasks. Listen to your heart; trust its direction. The flaming piles that distract you are someone else’s calling. You do a disservice to the world, yourself, and others if you engage their lifework and ignore your own.”

I’m listening. No, really. This time, I’m listening.

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