Can Divorce Give You A Heart Attack?
My new client shouted out the words, “I’d rather die than be divorced!”
The woman in her early 50s was beautifully dressed, attractive and carried an air of confidence that comes with someone of her years. I studied her face as she continued, “I just can’t bear the pain, my heart is breaking”.
Her words were so apt: the physical pain of heartbreak is very real. In a post on the American Heart Association’s website, “Is Broken Heart Syndrome Real”, the author states:
“Broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, can strike even if you’re healthy…Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection.”
If the shock of a break-up can induce broken heart syndrome, where a part of the heart temporarily enlarges and pumps differently than usual, it is reasonable to suggest that when a person says their “heart is broken” it is a true and real experience for them.
In my years of working with people, I have come to understand heartbreak to be a “Crisis of the Heart” where spiritually the heart “cracks open” in order to allow us to love even more deeply. During heartbreak, we are challenged to fully open our hearts in order to allow us to experience a deeper layer of intimacy with ourselves and others. It is the crisis itself which opens us up to a re-connection with ourselves, our self-expression and the truth of our soul.
More often than not, as the layers peel away, a crisis of the heart will reveal a necessary reflection of the deep disconnection many of us have within ourselves. It can be difficult to see and to be honest about this disconnection; yet when we do, the gifts received are immeasurable.
So the real challenge is “Do you choose to sit down and die? Or do you choose to embrace the pain, be vulnerable and look deeper into the depth of your soul?”
In other words: do you connect to your real truth?
This was the question my client had to face…
If we fight the “crisis of the heart” by closing down our hearts we prolong our suffering, we create emotional, physical and mental blockages which impact our healing and our health. The challenge with closing our heart is that we disconnect even more from our flow of love and our spiritual energy. Every crisis of the heart is an invitation to crack ourselves open and connect at a deeper level to the love within ourselves and to share this love with others. Heartbreak and suffering are often seen as an opportunity to validate, justify and vindicate ourselves, to apportion blame and shame others in regards to their behaviours.
What, though, if this crisis of the heart was seen as an opportunity to take responsibility for ourselves and our well-being, and instead of buying into our fears, we embraced our crisis and connected to our hearts and opened ourselves up to the infinite source of love within us. The sooner we do this, the less we suffer and the crisis will pass.