In the wee hours of the morning yesterday, I was out walking the visiting dog, Sky, and I began getting dizzy. I HAD to sit down. Getting back home, even though it was only two blocks out, was a challenge and I had to sit down often.
The symptoms I was having were similar to a heart condition I'd had a few years back called takotsubo. My heart muscle weakened and collapsed. This condition shows up like a heart attack but is not a heart attack. It can be treated with medicine and in some cases, heals. In my case, after about six months of treatment, my heart mended.
While I was on my way back to the house, I was both weak and frightened. How could I not be? That feeling of loss of control washed over me and I wanted to fight the symptoms. I was having a hard time being in the moment and accepting things just as they are.
After just a few hours, though, a great calm took over. When I went to Urgent Care and they confirmed “a-fib”, I was not surprised and I was actually open to the experience. When I was sent to the ER, since I have had that 'racing heart' experience several times in the past, I knew the ropes.
I know this is an unusual word to describe my experience in the ER – but it was my authentic experience. I enjoyed being tended by the nurses. I appreciated getting some oxygen and some fluids. I felt taken care of, held. Throughout the early hours in the ER, the Serenity Prayer was looping through my mind. I was not saying the prayer, the prayer was saying me.
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
and, the wisdom to know the difference...
When I am having difficult experiences emotionally or physically, I feel like I get carried by loving hands. I know that in the coming days, there will be times I can't accept this weakness or dizziness. There will be times that I think it's my fault. There will be times that I think it should not be happening. These thoughts are my human condition. They are not the 'spiritual truth' but they are regular visitors.
The thing with atrial fibrillation is that it can happen anytime, or for a few times or it may become an ongoing health problem that lasts for the rest of my life. I'll be getting more tests in a week or so. Meantime, I get to be in the “unknown.” When I see the unknown as a natural part of life, especially as I age, I can tolerate it; surrender to it; let it have me, then a quiet beauty resides in my inner being. Accepting “what is” as it is, is the way home. I am so grateful when I can rest accepting things exactly as they are.
We are all, in every single moment, on the edge of living and dying. We are truly in the unknown, even though we try to pretend things are under control. There have been so many years that feel like lifetimes that I have hated the unknown. It seemed like my very life depended on getting my ducks in a row. Now, more of the time, when things get messy, I'm willing to go along on the ride, let the river take me where it will.
The message that I'm getting from my sweet heart is to take more care of myself than I ever have. Doing service and learning to be still is of equal importance in my life today. My heart is saying, “say no to working with anyone that might hurt your heart or cost too much energy.” It is telling me to make the pauses between things bigger and the efforting smaller. Treasure your heart. Slow your pace. Trust your own personal understanding of God.”
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TODAY,