Summer heat opens pores and hearts and the rhythm intensifies. Our vessel walls dilate, blood surges to the heart. This moment of heart awakening is the perfect time to explore ourselves in relationship. Are we open to and present with one another?
In Chinese medicine of 5,000 years ago and increasingly today in Western cardiovascular research there is a link between relationship health and heart health. Simply stated, people fare better when they are in the experience of a loving relationship. So if this is so then why can they be so hard to come by. Why don’t we just live and stay in what we know is good for us?
While relationships can be the most joyful aspect of being alive; at other times they can be the most confusing and painful. A favorite in the Crossings bookstore, “When the Past is Present”: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage Our Relationships,” is an excellent book to help point the way through the illusions that cause us pain and distance when we relate. As the author David Ricchi points out, how we react or respond in relationship is often a replay of our past. We all have a tendency to transfer potent feelings, needs, expectations, and beliefs from childhood or from former relationships onto the people in our daily lives, whether they are intimate partners, friends, or acquaintances. When we do so we are no longer in relationship with the person in front of us but rather with our unfinished past.
“When the Past is Present” helps us to become more aware of heart openness as a deepening process of growth. Through attention to our own reactions and cultivation of present awareness we allow ourselves to release projections and illusions that we place on one another until we come face to face with another human being. This can be a painful process but as we endure with one another compatibility begins to happen in every sense of the word.
Another recommendation is “Passionate Marriage”. Its main theme is that what keeps a relationship healthy and alive is the difficult task of individuating oneself within an intimate partnership. Rave reviewers said: “Opened my eyes significantly; changed the direction of my marriage.”
So place both books next to your novel at the beach and return home to see your relationships in a new light. And your heart health too!