There Are Ways To Heal The Mind. Can We Also Heal The Heart?
Notes on the Sunday address by Dr Francis Macnab, 18 September, 2016.
By John Abbate.
Our heart carries this load of discontent, and the mind conceals the extent of our emotional pain.
–Dr Francis Macnab
Cardiologists, surgeons and physicians tell us that some hearts can recover from disease and damage. “Good news,” says Dr Macnab, but, “is it possible to recover from a broken heart, a grieving heart, or a hardened, empty heart?”
The cardiologist, Dean Ornish, outlined the scientific basis for the healing power of intimacy in his book, Love and Survival (1998). “We need to be open,” said Dr Macnab, “to the many sources of that love and intimacy that enhance and strengthen the heart.”
Dr Macnab focuses on the particular stress of loss and how we might deal with it. We begin by assuming that we are ready to face the reality of our loss and the emotions that go with it. We begin by assuming that we really do want to find some healing for our heart.
12 assertions for the healing of the heart
- Discover the power of a new affection. Is it possible to find a new relationship, a new affection?
- Discover the softening power of other experiences.
- Discover the inspiring power of another activity, one that lifts you.
- Discover the joyful power of positive emotions,
- Discover the expansive power of a sense of belonging.
- Discover the holding power of being valued.
Like “dropping a truckload of plums on your doorstep,” Dr Macnab does not expect us to take away or find a use for all of these things. However, it is good enough that we might remember, or select, “more than one.” So, he continues:
- The strengthening power of affirmations.
- The releasing power of leaving some things behind – being ready for a new beginning.
- The reassuring power of seeing a place for grace, goodness and god in human existence.
- The identifying power of empathy.
- The quieting power of a contented heart.
- The joyful power of a grateful heart.
These assertions tell us, again and again, that the troubled, damaged heart can be healed.
As a final note, Dr Macnab’s expresses his wish that everybody who listens to his address, whether in person in the church, or in one of the many countries touched by its global outreach online, can discover the power of a generous heart.