Yesterday I smiled way down deep inside when my cardiologist said excitedly, “Tyra, you are doing great! Your nuclear stress test shows a very healthy heart. ”
Dr. Hopkins and I met on February 3, 2014. He was wearing the color blue from head to toe. Only his eyes were visible to communicate his compassion. His words pleaded, “Hang on for me Tyra, stay with me. I am going to help you.”
He did not lie.
I had no clue my heart was mad at me. But early that February morning it attacked me with a vengeance disguised as chills, severe nausea, extreme chest pains, short shallow breaths and an inability to move or call out. This combination of symptoms was unfamiliar to me. My heart had behaved perfectly during all my heath exams. I had no family history of heart disease, I ate healthily and exercised regularly. Until that morning the only time my heart misbehaved was when it was breaking over a love affair gone bad (and there were many) or the death of a loved one. I was so used to it beating fast and happily after our regular cardio workouts.
During my hospital cardio rehab program and after, I struggled in my mind with the leftovers of the attack. I was afraid to go to sleep. I kept the guest bathroom door closed where I had been unconscious on the floor. I stepped over the space in the living room where I waited alone for my journey to heaven to begin. When I did give in to sleep I had horrible nightmares. Each night I prepared to die by making sure my house was immaculate and all pertinent information was available and visible. I left my door unlocked.
When I shared this with my primary care physician, she referred me to a support group for survivors of near death experiences. It was safe and comforting there and I could be authentic and vulnerable without penalty. I admitted that for the previous ten years, I had been faking being alright when I wasn’t. I hid my pain about abuse and betrayal. Through my divorce, forced relocation, cancer, unemployment and homelessness I wore a mask of emotional dishonesty.
“Emotion always has its roots in the unconscious and manifest itself in the body.” – Irene Claremont de Castillejo
My health crisis made it impossible for me to ignore this truth any longer. I guess my heart was tired of living a lie as well. There were only so many ways for blood to pump around a clogged artery. My heart attack became the voice of behavioral correction. It yelled, “STOP TYRA! STOP confusing your circumstances with your purpose. STOP thinking you are not enough. Just STOP!
START saying “YES” to your power within. START treating yourself like someone you love. START using the gifts God gave you to be the woman you were created to be.
I wasn’t sure of the source of the voice. As I listened, I decided it was God.
Are you ignoring any lifeaving messages?
I am so grateful to be here healthy in mind, soul and body, connecting with you! My gratitude drives me to reach out to you weekly with encouragement. Please join me at the table.Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.