“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Anatomically the breasts shield our heart. Our breasts are far more than the sexualized female adornments that get most of the attention. They are truly amazing organs, hardwired to some of our deepest sensual response, and designed to nourish and sustain new life.

Illness in the heart center, whether in the breasts or the heart itself can easily be interpreted as shield damage. The rate of illness in this region of our body is mind-boggling.  Breast cancer affects one in eight women every day. Heart disease kills one in four women. Just last week, I sat anxiously in a waiting room to find out if I would join the ranks of the millions of women who fight these diseases every year.

The hours of prayer in between the test and the results, which were thankfully negative, led me to think that by holding onto our old wounds and preserving painful emotional distance we often do invisible and unspoken damage to our breasts and our heart center. It is not that big a leap to see how our inability and unwillingness to open up our heart to the challenge and reward of relationships might have something to do with the rampant degree of life-threatening illness of the heart center that impacts such a large percentage of women.

It is common to shield our hearts. We are all so afraid about the prospect of a broken heart by the loss of love, that we inadvertently keep it from use.  In fact, shielding our heart from our emotional pain can become such a deep and prolonged habit that we often walk around numb, unaware of the shield we are wearing.  So common is this practice of defending our heart that it is a rare when two open hearts meet.

As I left the clinic, I was walking almost as if on air, but remembering my late, dear friend Janice whose breast cancer diagnosis was the beginning of the end for her.  I was remembering how much of her deepest healing that happened during her treatment and fight for life, transpired in the healing of her relationships. Of course, as our recognition of our time becomes shorter, the truth of the connections that live within our heart demand our fullest attention. Indeed, it is the only thing that deserves our time. Which explains why the most memorable stories that celebrate the healing to survival pay homage to the losses from these illnesses and share the heart’s revelation of opening.  They celebrate the connection and reconnection to self and those we hold most dear.

As we come back again to pay attention to Breast Cancer Awareness month, let us consider how we can all cut the straps to the shields that bind us. Let’s dedicate the month to discovering how strong our heart center can be by opening it. It might be the most curative practice we can undertake in our own life and who knows the good it might bring to this profoundly wounded planet.

Join us this month and make regular breast checks an intimate experience.  See our article, An Intro To Partner Breast Checks, to learn how to use our Caribbean rose love oil and turn this into a loving act between you and your partner.