a woman with a hand on her heart, a crossroads go through her chest

The Crossroads of Healing

“Happiness is an inside job.” I’ve heard this proverb throughout my life.  I know for sure that happiness cannot be found outside of myself. Years of deep reflection and much internal work led me to this truth. Living with heart disease has been challenging and I doubted if I had the tenacity to persevere. I wondered if this fight was worth it and ultimately my spirit revealed the answer. Every minute is worth it.

Stability and healing

Several people asked how it feels to know that I will never “get well.” Illness makes most people uncomfortable and it's difficult to discuss. They find solace in believing that healing or a cure is possible. The eradication of heart disease is an aspiration I long to witness, yet I cannot carry unrealistic expectations. 

In reality, I will never get better on this side of earth because congenital heart disease is a lifelong condition. Stable is the magic word I desire to hear. Stable means that all is as good as it gets for now. It gives me additional time to live, love, laugh, and make memories allowing more time to complete my life's work. Stable does not mean healed and can change at a moment’s notice.

My internal compass

Lately, my physical and mental health are ailing. My spirit is heavy. It feels as though I am trapped, stuck between dusk and dawn with no way out. This territory is both familiar and uncharted. A contradiction in its entirety. I am at a crossroads where obstacles intersect and winding roads obstruct my view. The light is hard to see yet it is still there. My soul shines bright enough to lead me out of the belly of darkness. It is my internal compass that leads me back to me, the source of the light I seek.

One of the most valuable lessons these past few months have taught me is that no one is promised tomorrow and every second of our existence is borrowed time. Embracing this verity propels me to continuously purge my heart of all that's wearing it down. I do not have the ability to physically heal my body nor can I control the ills of the world. I have sovereignty over my perceptions and the manner in which I choose to embrace and live with illness and adversity. In the shadows, I learned to summon my light, and ultimately my composition was discovered there.

I am grateful

Life can change at a moment’s notice. Illness as well as devastation may ensue. Having the opportunity to wake along with a beating heart is a privilege. While getting better is not my reality, healing the content of my heart is what matters. I am grateful. In closing, healing is an inside job. May you stay safe, find your light, and heal from within.

“Born a baby girl sickened in her heart,

Struggles she faced so young, she wondered when life would start.

She learned that in every obstacle there was a hidden lesson,

Adversity has made her that much stronger she’s learned to count her blessings.”

(from “Revelations" by Teresa Wright-Johnson)

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