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Great Valve-ue

With February officially underway, I think about my two hearts and how they relate. There’s my Valentine’s Day heart, which only accepts love in two forms: affectionate cards and chocolate frozen yogurt cups (bonus points for crushed Reese’s). There’s also my literal heart, which tirelessly beats, prolonging my life and affording me continuous opportunities to better myself, my circumstances, and those of others (and to have more cups).

My Valentine’s Day heart, which actually operates year-round, seeks to value someone else and to be valued itself. It looks for ways to express and receive individual specialness. It likes personal connection, and it gives gifts to strengthen those connections.

My beating heart, (thankfully this also operates year-round,) is concerned with making sure I get lifeblood to all the different parts of me. It facilitates every other part of me, such that all of my operations function as an outflowing of how my heart is doing. If my heart is having trouble, the rest of me will find out about it very quickly. In this sense my emotional and physical heart are very similar. What I do with my time directly relates to what I care about, and I can’t reasonably function if either heart is unhealthy.

It is a necessary precondition of my living the life I want, and it takes both rigorous upkeep (exercise) and gentle caretaking (a balanced diet, made easier than ever by Carbolite frozen yogurt flavors) to make sure my literal heart is metaphorically in the right place.

I know people who have a lot of trouble staying emotionally grounded. I have trouble myself, and even though emotional stability is deeply personal, I do what I can to help them. So when I know there are people whose physical hearts are struggling, where treatment is both physically possible and able to be given by others, I have a matching impulse: help how I can, because it’s someone’s whole world at stake.

This whole month, Suzy’s Swirl is running a roundup fundraiser for American Heart Association. I’m going to give when I can because everything comes down to the heart. When you pick up a cup, now you have a reason to do the same.

You are not rich until you have a rich heart.” 

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


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