By: Doctor Luis Soto
Have you ever had a broken heart? Emotionally, you are destroyed. The person you are in love with has turned away from you, and you feel empty. Physically your chest hurts, you have palpitations, and you may even have shortness of breath. Spiritually, you are down to the point that you have no desire to do anything. You feel lonely and desperate.
As a cardiologist, I was recently called to the hospital’s emergency room to examine a patient with severe chest pains. She was 84 years old and was going through the early stages of dementia. She was extremely frustrated that she couldn’t remember things. It was a struggle for her to answer my questions. I could see that her face was in extreme anguish. On top of things, she was in the middle of a heart attack and was depressed.
Our lives have been structured in a way that we have a body, a soul that expresses our emotions, feelings, and a will. We are a living spirit, that like our body and soul, needs to be fed and nourished.
In order for our lives to thrive, our emotions, body, and spirit need to be in perfect balance. Our emotions impact our bodies. An unbalanced body may impact our spirit. If there is no attempt to regain the “balance”, we get sick.
How can we end up with a broken heart? An extremely stressful event can have a major impact in our hearts. After Hurricane Katrina, many people were displaced out of New Orleans. Some lost family members while others were struggled with their uncertainties. Some experienced job loss, financial crises, destroyed homes, family and friend separation, and more. The tension, stress, and anguish of the whole situation led some to loneliness, hopelessness, and depression.
These circumstances of extreme emotional stress can lead to divorce, betrayal, romantic rejection, or unexpected news like a new physical diagnosis or loss of a job. Our bodies react liberating large amounts of hormones like adrenaline which may constrict the blood vessels that feed our heart muscle and damage or “stun” the heart. Also, we may experience severe chest pains which mimic a heart attack.
Recently, I took the patient from the ER to the cardiac cath lab. I performed an angiogram and to my surprise, her coronary vessels were normal. All evidence was pointing to a heart attack; however, there was no blockage. Unfortunately, her heart muscle had been damaged. It was very weak.
Jesus sweat drops of blood from his head. The extreme anguish of going to the cross and being separated from His Father was the most difficult task he ever faced. The soldiers pierced His chest and water and blood poured out of his side. He had a broken heart.
He became the perfect sacrifice for us to be redeemed from our sins and to obtain access to our Heavenly Father.
My patient recovered really well. I had a long discussion with her family in how to help her with her emotional and stressful life. Our goal is to live balanced lives. We all face difficult and challenging situations on a daily basis. We tend to overbook our schedules and stretch our budgets. A key factor in life is simple: SIMPLIFY.
Circumstances may not change, but our approach to them may make the difference.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. “ Phil. 4:6. Gratefulness is the key that opens our lives to experience
healing, hope and peace.
“And the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7.
Body, soul and spirit, in perfect balance leads to a healthy and prosperous life. This is the balanced life.