The Heart Surgeon



Let me share a personal untold story.

Before and during my medical school years, I was clear on how I wanted to become a heart surgeon. I was never sure where that inspiration came from but I just knew suddenly at age 16 that I wanted to become a doctor and a heart surgeon next. My entire career was focused on that, so exciting, so determined despite the academic batterings I had throughout.

My surgical student hours alongside my final internship year had me going through the exact thing that I always envisioned and wanted the most. I went on rotation through thoracic surgery departments both in paediatrics and adults for several months. I could choose it all and experience it all. I could immerse myself in my dream head on and wow, did it shake me to the core!

Life would have me experiencing the dream, as deep as I wished, as real as I wanted. Long hours of open chest surgeries with my mentors, admiration fluttering with wings all over the operating rooms and the patient’s beds. I was living it before hand, getting a taste of it all. Of my dream.

Until it hit me…

…hit me so hard.

I hated it. The life, the hospital life, the ambience, the smallness in it all. I was suddenly feeling deeply miserable in my dream, the one and only dream I had ever envisioned for myself.

I fell off the biggest emotional cliff so far in my life at that point. My dream broke into pieces in front of my eyes, my life’s picture watered out of me in one aggressive waterfall.

How did this happened? I was shocked. Clueless. My heart was broken. Suddenly lost and confused, paddling in fear of what I didn’t know now – about my career, my future and my life.

What now?

Who am I now?

It was mid July and I still had five more months ahead of me in order to graduate. The longest, most depressing, knee-bending months of my life, to the point where I’d walk into the hospital earlier than usual on daily basis, only to be able to pass by the small church inside to pray for five or ten minutes, asking for strength for that day; daily for the resting five months of my internship. I couldn’t bear or cope, it was beyond what I could handle at that point, added that there was no time to do much more, not even breathe, have a social life or even desires to do that or anything else that seemed normal. So many others were doing it and handling it so well. And all I could do was pray like never before, armour up and break through each day until I could cuddle up at night, whether at home or in the small hospital bunk bed to cry in silence until the next day.

I might have suffered it too much but I didn’t know other way of doing or being. I didn’t speak about it. I just swallowed it all until the final line and then I might have time to breathe and think again.

I’m realising as I write these words how interesting it is the way we cope with things through life. I see a pattern, a pattern of having this one idea, working hard for it, then having it taken away from you and feeling like the entire world crumbling, taking away your confidence and trust in life and yourself.

I’ve certainly have had that pattern repeated over time in different situations, yet always somehow bringing similar lessons to the core.



Core – Just like cor, cuore & corazón

Core: a word with unknown origins according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, yet I can immediately think of the Latin Cor or the Italian Cuore or the Spanish Corazón, all meaning heart.

Makes sense then how we use the phrase “being shaken to the core”, which to me means shaken in the emotions except deeper, way deeper. Almost to a place within where there’s no address and no lights, a place we barely know exists, probably never been and yet so present and so us. Shaken to the core, the place that can gives us earthquakes of both pain and happiness. The place where out truth lives, whether we can see it or not.

There I was, building a life out of instinct and nudges, thinking I’d be a most successful heart surgeon in the usually awesome green scrubs, doing respected work while saving people’s lives. I remember feeling a deep and huge sense of importance, pride and good hard work.

How little do we know and how much we think we know!

Life truly has a way of showing us the way, while we go with free will through it all, sometimes taking longer, sometimes not so long. But always exactly in the right places, situations and moments to learn the lessons required for the next stages of this process.

I have recently come to this heart surgeon awareness about it being a different thing than I had planned. No green scrubs or operating rooms. Instead, it seems that my writing has made me slowly and deeply aware of important matters of the heart, always analysing, observing, trying to understand and feel as much as I possibly could. About people, about family, about friendships, about partners, about marriage, about life.

Love is such a big, essential human thing. Probably the essence of it all.



A pen vs. a scalpel…

I realise now how my pen has been my scalpel, paper has been my operating table and observing people and the world itself have been my patients all this time, my lifetime.

Maybe then I wasn’t meant to follow the green-scrubs doctor dream yet I surely know that becoming a doctor was certainly in my desired path. I had an idea, then life showed me and guided me better. Life knows. Our higher self knows.

And here I am now: nineteen years after having started my medical career, thirteen after having had my doctor dream flushed down my system, and after a lifetime writing my soul out, realising a new way of understanding what I am meant to be on soul level.

Understanding that my writing combined with my medical background, my empathy and my endless desire to translate love into words and feeling people’s cores is what makes me then be this other kind of heart surgeon.

Definitely not the idea of heart surgeon I had in mind all along.

I’ve been afraid for years to talk or even face people in medical/hospital/health fields because of the aggressive judgment of not-being-enough-of-a-doctor if you didn’t go through the usual process of becoming a specialised one. The fear of judgement, of rejection. I clearly took a different route, making me feel adrift and isolated. It is a real thing in the medical world that no one talks about, yet more frequent than not.

The system can be raw and I refused to become it. And such decisions (like any) come with a price, but yet again, price is only a label after all.



The Soul Reboot

I have come to understand in this process that yes, I am different.

Yes, I chose different.

Yes, I am a doctor, not less of one because of my personal choices.

Yes, I am other things too and yes, I am allowed to be those other things.

I’ve had the need (even an urgent calling to take quick action) over the apst few months to release all fear of judgements as much as possible – and that’s the biggest task of all! Inner work has truly played its magic in the process.

Life calls you to places you didn’t imagine, to people you didn’t plan on meeting, to situations you couldn’t have a clue, all for the sake of lessons and growth.

And when we choose differently in a place where things have been named, labeled and structured for the sake of “functioning”, then we must learn to become stronger in overcoming our own fears during this infinite growth.

When we choose different, we must learn to see deeper, further and better.

When we choose different, we are being called to learn something else.

Whether in the system or slightly different from it, everyone has a purpose and everyone has free will. By accepting this, how little judgement and how much less fear there would be in people’s hearts to take action towards what each one feels called to.

Fear can truly paralyse us. And when we choose different, we are choosing to fight against our own fears, particularly the ones we don’t know we own.

So this is how I am finding myself in this different path opening up, one that is calling me to go out of my own head and into the beautiful, bright chamber of the heart, connected to my soul and ready to see, write and describe people’s souls. To see beyond the physical to get to the deepest core issue, which in essence is making both the mind and body sick.

No idea where this is taking me next, but I am being called now and from a very different place inside and outside of me, to have faith again (like those early morning church visits back then), to start doing this other work because that’s exactly what I came here to do, and to simply trust myself and this journey. Because life has it’s own ways of showing us the way ahead only when we take one small step after another, staying in the present and enjoying each moment towards the next (more on this last concept another time).

Life is a mystery. And so is faith, trust and flow. But it’s clear that if we focus in the knowing of what we feel inside, life won’t go wrong. Whatever lessons it may bring, it will always give us what we need and onwards.

Yes, maybe I got married quite early with the idea of the green-scrubs heart surgeon. Now I know it was a sign on my path towards this new clarity of doing the works of the heart.

Thanks for following this journey and may it help you find your own steps inside of you today as you walk your way.

Much love,
Mariana


As part of this new soul-guided heart calling, I have created something that might interest you
and it’s called The Soul Reboot.
Learn more about it here.

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