Love is in the air as we get closer to Valentine’s Day! The heart is synonymous with love and all things emotional. If someone has deeply hurt you, you might say they ‘broke your heart’. The heart not only supplies life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body through the blood, it supplies life-sustaining energy to every cell in our body.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), emotions are energy in flow, like water, and have an effect on the flow of water in our bodies. The heart is an electrical power source, sending electrical currents of energy throughout our bodies. Water is a conductor of electricity, and our bodies are made up of about 72% water (blood contains water as well). This is why emotions like anger have an effect on our blood pressure and circulation. Whatever emotions are in the heart will be circulated throughout the body. Our hearts are where our “true selves” live, and where our emotions originate. The heart sends the electrical impulses through the body to alert us and guide us down a path that is in accordance with our true self.
In TCM, joy is an essential emotion to possess in the body. It is a specific frequency that brings us to homeostasis, or balance. Every living thing has a self-regulating process to maintain stability and equilibrium. Our cells cannot reach homeostasis if they are not vibrating at this frequency. This is also the homeostasis of the heart. The heart beats at a certain rhythm and must maintain this rhythm. As we turn away from love, we get more stress, which tells us that we are out of balance in our heart. We must do more to process our stress, which is really just a mix of fear, anger, grief, and hate.
Give and Take – The Balance of Nature
Just as blood gives necessary nutrients and oxygen to the cells, the blood takes the cells’ waste products away from the tissues. There is a give and take, back and forth energy that maintains homeostasis. One is not more important than the other. You must also give and take emotionally with those around you in equal measure to maintain joy.
Some of us struggle to give. We may feel like we are owed something, or that we have sacrificed more than others, which gives us the justification to do less. However, we may want to check our mental filters, or the “glasses” we see life through. If we are seeing through a distorted filter colored by past pain and trauma, we have to heal those past wounds to see more clearly.
Some of us struggle to take. We may feel like we have to take care of others, pay attention to their emotional needs, and put ourselves last. Maybe we even feel like we are doing something honorable by continually suffering and never expecting anything in return. Our body begins to decline in health to alert us to this imbalance, but if our mental filter is that it is selfish to receive, then the pain will have to get louder and louder to get you to hear it.
Break Down the Wall
We all learned to put up a wall around our heart to not get hurt. This block also stops you from receiving energy like joy. We know that if we stopped the flow of blood, this would lead to a major problem, but we continue to block the flow of our emotions. Many of us are starving for life-force energy, for love and joy, and do not even know it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What would it take for me to bring more joy into my life?
- What makes me joyful?
- What would it take for me to receive joy?
- What do I need to let go of to make room for joy in my heart?
Love yourself this Valentine’s Day, and see how much better you feel!
We’re here to help YOU!
Laura Brudvig, NCC, IHAP, LC
About the Author
Laura Brudvig MA, NCC, IHAP, LC
Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner
Laura completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USD. She is a National Certified Counselor, Life Coach, and Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner. She is currently working towards her certification as an Herbalist from the HomeGrown Herbalist School of Botanical Medicine.