Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Love Heartbeat

The heartbeat is the most basic test for life. The first thing that a doctor or nurse would check for at an accident site would be a pulse. The sign that at least the engine of the body is working and there’s a chance for everything else. Without that there’s little point it checking anything else, it’s fundamental.

The first sound we hear in our lives is a heartbeat; our mother’s heartbeat. Although we wouldn’t know it our very life depends upon that all encompassing rhythm. The steady double beat of life; each “bvrmm-bvrmm” delivering vital oxygen and nutrients and carrying away harmful waste. Babies are so soothed and comforted by the steady beat of the heart that after birth babies that have trouble settling are often played a recording of the mother’s heartbeat. It’s a reminder that all is well and that they are safe and protected and where they ought to be.

One of the most intimate and vulnerable acts is to allow someone to rest their head on your chest listening to your heartbeat. Children will cuddle up in this position when they need comforting, adults may do it when just wanting wordless intimacy with a husband or wife. My wife often falls asleep in front of the TV with her head on my chest, whether that’s because she feels safe and secure there or because the TV is boring her to sleep is open to debate.

Even though we know that the brain is where our consciousness resides we still refer to the heart as being the source of emotions and the passions in our life.

‘His heart wasn’t in it’, ‘Cry your heart out’, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’, ‘Affair of the heart’ or ‘Break your heart’; these are phrases that just wouldn’t make sense with brain or mind substituted for word heart. The heart is where we live from. Our brain doesn’t rule our hearts – it’s much more the other way round. We don’t decide to fall in love with someone as an intellectual decision, our heart just goes ahead and does it and leaves our mind to work out the details later.

When we’re doing something we’re passionate about, a sport perhaps or playing in a band or riding a motorbike fast down a twisty back road or greeting a loved one we’ve been apart from for some time our heart rate goes up. The pulse quickens, a bit of fear perhaps of the unknown but excitement and a rush of adrenaline. We feel properly alive.

So I guess it’s no coincidence that the heart is also synonymous with love. When we fall in love we ‘loose our heart’ to someone else. We write ‘I ♥ you’ on things or in some cases carve it on trees. Love is the greatest. To be in love and to be loved in return is the most wonderful feeling.

True love isn’t a passing fancy or infatuation. It never gives up. It’s a rock you can stand on when surrounded by quick-sand.
True love isn’t selfish or given only so that it’ll receive something back. It cares for the one loved more than for itself.
True love isn’t dissatisfied with what it has. It sees the best in the one it loves.
True love isn’t proud or arrogant; it doesn’t fly off the handle or keep a score of perceived wrongs. It is considerate, calm under pressure and forgives readily and then forgets.
True love puts up with anything, never looks back and WILL keep on going until the very end no matter what. No matter how many times it’s rejected, no matter how badly it’s treated, no matter how little it’s valued no matter how much it’s been criticized or even ignored.
True love is always there with its arms open wide ready to pour itself out.

Finding true love changes the course of your life, it’s changed mine. It takes you on an adventure that just keeps getting better and better. It colours how you look at everything around you; it gives you a reason to get out of bed during the times when everything else in your life makes you want to hide under the blankets. It gives us the reassurance that; not only are we loved but that we’re also significant. This kind of love is what fires our heart with passion. This kind of love doesn’t want to be contained or hidden away. This kind of love is pretty much impossible for us to give.

This love is the love Jesus showed all of us when he came to earth as a human being on a rescue mission. Jesus, God to the rescue. That utterly unconditional always-ready love is what is offered to each one of us all the time by God because he loves us. The Bible is a 66 book love story. It’s all about love. To talk about love without talking about Him would be missing the point. To be in love and to be loved in return is not just a most wonderful feeling. True love is the point of being alive.

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