What’s happening to the heart of humanity?

On June 1st, 2020, my sister committed suicide. She was only 51 years old and the circumstances of her life had proven much too difficult.

The anti-depressant medications she was prescribed didn’t help, and she continued spiraling down due to financial hardship and emotional trauma from the past few years.

Needless to say, it was a shock for the whole family and a deeply wounding experience for her two sons.

The year before my sister died, we attended the funeral of our childhood friend who died of cancer. My sister confided in me that she didn’t want to be laid out in a funeral home when she died.

Thanks to the C0ronavirus lockdown, she got her wish and was NOT laid out in a funeral home.

Instead, a few days after her death, we had a private gathering at home. We laid out pictures of her on the dining room table with bunches of flowers, and invited close friends and family to join us.

Between 40-50 people (or more) showed up. Some wearing protective face masks, some not.

We hugged, we cried, we held hands, we shared stories, we expressed our anger and sadness, our pain and grief, and our love for her, and for each other.

Grieving isn’t for the dead – it’s for the living souls that are left behind.

We comforted each other the best way we knew how – by gathering together as a community and compassionately holding each other close, heart to heart.

My father’s best friend, Dennis, attended that gathering as well. He is in his 80’s. He has kidney disease. He smokes cigarettes. And, he is Black. He had almost every risk factor for catching and dying from C0vid-19.

He told me that he simply could not live with himself if he did NOT make the journey by bus from Maryland to NYC to gather with us and grieve the loss of my sister.

Not one person that attended our intimate gathering of humans, including Dennis, caught or suffered from any symptoms of C0vid-19.

Some say that gathering together was selfish and we could have spread the virus, but I say it was absolutely necessary to help us process the tragedy and heal our hearts. It also boosted our immunity for reasons I’ll explain shortly.

The death of my sister broke open our hearts, and the gathering of family and friends helped to put the pieces back together again.

My heart breaks over and over again for ALL of the humans that have suffered the loss of a loved one through this pandemic and were NOT allowed to gather and go through the ritual of grieving.

My heart also breaks for ALL of the humans that died alone, isolated, in hospitals.

When we come into this world we are welcomed by the warmth and comfort of our mother and close loved ones. And, when we exit this world, we should be given the opportunity to be released by our loved ones, either at their bedside or in the days following their death.

Connecting with our heart and our ability to love is a BIG part of the healing process. And, it’s an absolute necessity to be able to thrive throughout this human experience.

Modern medical science understands the heart mostly as a mechanical system. It is viewed as a muscle that pumps the blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

But, that is a limited perspective, and only encompasses the physical function of the heart.

The heart, according to the ancient Greeks, is the true motivator for the human spirit. According to ancient healing practices, the energetic charge of the heart is directly connected to our emotional and spiritual experiences.

For the purpose of this article and to help heal our hearts as a global community, we are looking at ancient healing medicine, our emotional and spiritual body, and how that relates to the health of the heart and immune system.

Before I begin, it’s imperative to understand that heart disease is the #1 killer of all people (men and women) around the world. I understand that people are deathly afraid of C0vid-19, but cardiovascular disease is still #1 every year.

Some quick facts about Cardiovascular disease (CVD)[1]:

  • CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.
  • 18.6 million people died of cardiovascular disease.

The global death rate from C0vid-19 as of 2/3/22 was: [2]

  • 5.7 million

Please look at those numbers again so it can hit home for you – hopefully, in your heart.

Now that you have perspective, let’s look more closely at the heart and the thymus gland that sits directly in front of the heart. In ancient medicine, this area of the body is recognized as the 4th Chakra (heart chakra)

Scientifically, the thymus is a gland located behind the sternum (or the breastbone), between the lungs, and in front of the heart. It derives its name from a resemblance to the bud of the thyme plant (or thymus in Latin).

By the way, thyme was one of the herbs my husband and I used to help us heal from C0vid-19 when it came knocking in our lungs.

The thymus is instrumental in the production and maturation of T-lymphocytes or T cells, the white blood cells that protect the body from threats, including viruses and infections. It is directly responsible for the development of our immune system and plays a significant role in our long-term health as an endocrine and lymphatic gland.[3]

According to modern medical science, like the heart, the thymus has a mechanical function. But, from an ancient perspective, this is incomplete.

We have an emotional and spiritual connection to the heart and the thymus.

Below are the emotional/spiritual experiences that activate and energize the 4th chakra:

  • Hugging someone or reaching out and physically touching someone in a loving way
  • Allowing ourselves to love and be loved
  • Practicing forgiveness and compassion for other people and for ourselves
  • Connecting with our community in a healthy way
  • Sharing meals/food with friends and loved ones
  • Believing in a loving divinity or a divine plan

This healing knowledge is thousands of years old. BUT, there are also many modern scientific studies proving that practicing love and compassion increases both immunity and heart health.

For example, studies in the National Public Library of medicine show that loving-kindness meditation and compassion meditation reduces stress levels and positively impacts our immune system. Loving-kindness meditation focuses on cultivating feelings of goodwill, kindness, and compassion.

“Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and Compassion Meditation (CM) are associated with an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect. Preliminary findings from neuroendocrine studies indicate that CM may reduce stress-induced subjective distress and immune response.”[4]

And, there’s this to keep in mind.

“Women who hugged the most daily had the highest oxytocin levels, and their systolic blood pressure was 10 mm/Hg lower than women with low oxytocin levels—an improvement similar to the effect of many leading blood pressure medications, says Kathleen Light, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at UNC.”[5]

Oxytocin is the hormone produced in the hypothalamus and secreted from the pituitary gland when a human being feels and/or experiences loving emotions.

So when it comes to preventing and healing any disease, no matter what it is, get into the habit of nourishing 4th chakra (heart, thymus) with the emotional and spiritual support it needs.

And, guess what?

What has been going on in the world since 2020 has NOT supported our 4th chakra at all:

  • Humans are literally afraid of each other and not hugging each other
  • Humans are not allowed to sit at restaurants and share meals together (unless they are injected)
  • Humans of all ages are encouraged to connect via a computer or from a safe distance

This new shift in human reality is not supportive for the development and function of the immune system, and certainly not healthy for our already compromised hearts.

I don’t know where we are headed as a species, but I do know this. If we do NOT reconnect to our 4th chakra in a healthy way, there will be an increase in mortality from Heart disease, C0vid-19, and all other diseases across the board.

Including anxiety, which is a deeply disturbing, and chronically worried state of being. How many anxious people do you know right now?

According to ancient medicine, anxiety is related to an unsettled heart, and overactive mind.

People contact me wanting to know what to eat help them calm down. I can certainly provide a list of food and herbs to reduce their physical symptoms, but until their emotional and spiritual body gets what it needs – love, compassion, heart to heart relationships with other human beings, and a deeper connection to each other and divinity – the herbs and foods are like putting a band-aid on a broken arm.

It won’t help.

The arm needs to be set properly, fully supported, held close, and then gently nurtured back to good health.

The same goes for the broken heart of our humanity.

 

[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-%28cvds%29

[2] https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

[3] https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-thymus

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176989/

[5] https://www.prevention.com/sex/relationships/a20435514/how-love-keeps-you-healthy/