Why I had Plastic Surgery on My Heart Chakra

I know. I know what you’re thinking: “Another story about surgical solutions to spiritual misalignment? Really?” But some tropes never get old (shout out to my girl Nancy Meyers).

It all began when a sebaceous gland in my body started to clog (typical). I noticed it first in high school — a little pea sized skin color mound, hard to the touch, and basically dead center on my chest, except that it was a little to the left of that: exactly above my heart. I didn’t think much of it, especially because my dermatologist Dr.Hadlieb (who’s son always seemed to be studying abroad in Paris — really I feel like for the 8 years I had been seeing Dr.Hadlieb her son was always, “you know, still in Paris”) said it was harmless and cancerfree and to remove it would potentially leave a major scar right dead center — and a little to the left — on my chest.

Maybe you don’t know this but apparently the most scarrable area of a woman’s body is her chest. Side note: when Dr.Hadlieb would inform me of this, she would always follow it up with “which wouldn’t be terrible, I mean, you don’t have a perfect chest to begin with,” a comment that left me googling clavicles for hours after school. But anyway I figured, forget it! It’s pea-sized and won’t kill me and no one will be the wiser!

Fast forward to college, and then through it a bit to junior year: the cyst had grown. Now the size of a perfectly round peanut m&m, this thing was now clearly a thing on me. We would drain it — my roommate and I — I’m kidding, me and Dr. Hadlieb, and a little fluid would come out, smelling gross, and the cyst would go down for some months before returning to it’s same huge bumpy self.

Fast forward again (thank god for this DVR), to my post college stint as a Hebrew school teacher and the little 4th grader who looked right at me and asked “WHAT’S THAT” (children speak only in capital letters, it’s the weirdest). But Ryan had a good point, what was that. Yes it’s a cyst but what is it doing growing right above my heart! And I took stock of all the areas in my life that relate to my heart, which happen to be all areas, and did some analysis:

The acting I claim to love doing, I didn’t love doing; the writing I claim to love doing, I didn’t love doing; the loving I claim to a. be desperate for and b. capable of, I was not doing. It became so clear. I literally had blockage above my heart. Sure I had done superficial things in pursuit of the above-mentioned. I’d made an online acting profile, I’d made a twitter, I’d made out with a guy who was a campaign manager for anti-gun legislation in Las Vegas (shout out to my girl Nancy Meyers). But at the end of each day I was alone and feeling a little empty — which is not the same thing as feeling thin, by the way.

Enter Dr. Corbem! Dr. Corbem is a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who’s never had a son in Paris. Dr. Hadlieb had referred me to Dr.C. because if we were gonna get this bad boy removed, we wanted a crafty pair of hands doing it. I was awake for the procedure. Dr. C, his assistant Al and I, we all were cracking jokes about tumors with teeth in them and rooms filled with jars of cysts — it was a ball! But. Even though they had numbed the area, I felt like I could feel everything. Even though Dr. C. was making only a 2-inch incision, I was being opened up, wide. One wrong move and this Beverly Hills plastic surgeon would have my heart in his hands. I felt so vulnerable, and when I left, I cried.

And I cried every day for a month after my surgery. Sometimes just staring at my chest, which looked foreign to me. Sometimes when I reached for a parking structure ticket, terrified that if I reached too far my body would split in half. Sometimes because the wind on my face reminded me that I love my mother, and I’d feel a tenderness towards the earth and this universe that made (and makes) me weep.

I should note that while it’s been well over a year, the area is still healing (not formally, but chakra-ly). And I’ve been left with a bruise-y looking, soft pink little leaf shape, reminiscent of the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, or a vagina. And it might fade more, the scar, or not. Even if it does there will always be a little something, right dead center and a little to the left, just above my heart. My chest won’t be perfect, but hey — I guess it never was to begin with.

So here’s to openness. Here’s to a love that might be slightly scarred, but not at all blocked. And here’s to Peter. The guy I’m talking to on Coffee Meets Bagel.

And actually also, here’s to bagels.

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