The following definition applies when describing the word ‘heart’ strictly in terms of human anatomy:
The chambered muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood received from the veins into the arteries, thereby maintaining the flow of blood through the entire circulatory system. (Source: thefreedictionary.com)
We all know, however, that there is so much more to the heart than that. We know the heart to be an organ of truth, one of emotion … compassion. It is the symbol of love. It seems to have a mind of its own—a notion we all can attest to when we feel compelled to think, to feel, to behave a certain way all the while our thoughts scream at us to do otherwise.
How well the following expressions resonate with us:
She loved him with all her heart.
His heart swelled with joy.
He won my heart.
How our hearts melt when we read the following:
“Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.”
“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”
“He had an affectionate heart. He must love somebody.”
“I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.”
What causes these varying sensations? Are these feelings really in our hearts or are they all in our minds? Does the heart affect the mind or does the mind affect the heart?
Emotions, both positive and negative, affect one’s health—especially one’s heart health. A positive outlook is beneficial to good heart health. Negative emotions such as intense anger can increase one’s risk for heart attack as well as stroke three to five-fold.
There exists a medical condition, known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Otherwise known as ‘broken heart syndrome’, its onset comes about when a traumatizing event, such as intense emotional distress, pain, or suffering one feels after losing a loved one, be it the result of death, divorce,breakup or even physical separation, triggers the brain to distribute chemicals that weaken heart tissue, resulting in among other things, acute heart failure. Indeed, suffering a broken heart might very well have life-changing consequences, including death.
This brings to mind one of my favorite Jane Austen quotes:
“Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart, and then he will be sorry for what he has done.”
In Pride and Prejudice, when Mrs. Bennet opined to Elizabeth about Bingley’s ill-treatment of Jane, she may very well have been onto something. I had Mrs. Bennet’s hilarious remark in mind when I wrote Bewitched, Body and Soul. For anyone who has not read the story, fear not. Although Jane’s heart is broken, not all is lost. In this happily ever after story, Elizabeth goes to town in Jane’s stead intending to remedy her eldest sister’s disappointed hopes and her ensuing heartbreak by clearing up the misunderstanding that led to Mr. Bingley’s precipitous departure from Hertfordshire. Of course, Elizabeth ends up losing her own heart to Mr. Darcy.
What say you about the inner workings of the heart and mind? Share your comments below. Heartwarming quotes earn bonus smiles!
I have happy news for those of you who have yet to read the story and would like to. For a limited time, I am offering Bewitched, Body and Soul for free to new newsletter subscribers. Visit podixon.com/FreeBook, sign up, and claim your complimentary eBook edition.