Lisa’s Heart Opening Story

by Lisa Lord

In November of 2019 I had a medical procedure that saved my life. I had no obvious symptoms, but a routine exam led to the discovery that my main artery was 90% blocked, and I had additional blockages in other arteries. I am one of the lucky ones. I never suffered a heart attack and my cardiologist was able to remove the blockage and insert three stents to keep my heart open. I went home the same day to carry on with my life.

But the truth is that my heart had begun to open several years before my doctor intervened. And similarly, it began without any obvious symptoms or suspicions.

At the time, I thought I had it all. I’d overcome barriers in the workplace that most women found challenging. I rose in a corporate job to a multinational role, six-figure salary as an HR Executive. I wielded influence across multiple levels of the organizations I served.  

I did all this while being the sole income provider for a family with three beautiful, amazing children. I had the support of a husband who stayed at home with our kids when that was unheard of for men. We had a beautiful home and a wonderful life.

But somehow, at 54 I found myself unemployed, in the middle of a contentious divorce, being sued for contempt because I couldn’t afford to pay spousal support to my husband, and fearful about how I was going to pay the bills.

More importantly, I didn’t have a clue who I was. Of course, I knew the obvious stuff we all think defines us; I was a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a boss, an employee, a woman.  I was kind, smart, short, Jewish, outgoing.  But somehow, I had built a wall around my true self, and I had forgotten who I was.  

I took myself on the most important journey of my life. I went within. I opened up. My journey didn’t start until my fifties. Imagine if I had started sooner.