There's much about a cardiac or coronary event that can be described as a "life-changing" experience. Many have found that their quality of life has improved because of a shift in priority such as "taking time to smell the roses;" or time to be better related to family, friends or colleagues. In spite, or maybe because of the negative aspects of the experience, the fear, pain, perhaps deminished activities, confrontation with our own mortality can mean affirmation of our presence, connection and opening to life as it is.
We can produce, contribute, receive and grow in wonderful ways by tuning in to appreciation, gratitude, presence and connection. As a psychologist, and member of Mended Hearts, I am interested in the healing power of these things particularly as they are manifested in intimacy between people
Intimacy in this context means: mutual and reciprocal contributing - giving and receiving of some contribution. Consider this, receiving a contribution of some kind is how people come to feel cared for. And giving a contribution of some kind is how people come to feel competent. There's probably nothing more important than this; how people come to feel like competent and cared for persons; and for this reason, intimacy is a therapeutic experience.
If I refuse to contribute, or don't feel that I am or have a contribution, I deny myself the experience of being capable and competent; and the other(s) the experience of being cared for. If I can't or won't receive a contribution, or don't see others or what they're doing as some kind of contribution, I deny myself the experience of being cared for, and the other(s) the experience of being capable. Take a few minutes, and:
Tell someone an example illustrating something that you have learned as a result of your "heart experience" that has improved your presence, connection or opening to life, relationship, or purposeful contribution. This telling is a contribution.
As you are listening, giving your attention is a contribution. As you are listening, let yourself really receive something from the teller's story and experience. Receive their contribution. Then take your turn.
Notice how you feel in both roles, and share your experience of doing this in a group.
Consider how you might use this experience in some relationship to give something of real value to others and yourself
Dr. S. David Hoffman Ph. D.
Dr. Hoffman is a Psychologist,
and a Mended Heart