Love and Sacred Heart Medicine

Nadia Hrynkiw
10 min readApr 4, 2024

It was in meditation several years ago, where I was speaking with my guides, that I first received instruction to name my organization “Sacred Heart Medicine Sanctuary”. I was having trouble coming up with what to call myself or my work because at that time I had no real idea what I was doing here. I was experiencing a spiritual calling and still wasn’t exactly sure what was happening. I was just listening, showing up, and saying yes when my heart sang to do so. Over the years, the meaning of this name has continued to blossom into a well of ancient knowledge and universal mystery. Not to be dramatic, but learning the Medicine of the Heart has been a profound roller coaster ride that I simply cannot get off of. I am in a constant state of higher learning because, in truth, the Medicine of the Heart is the thing that this world desperately needs right now. I believe it is the only vibration that can truly change the trajectory of our future as humans on this planet in a positive way.

What is Medicine of the Heart?

I want to share a few stories below about my experience with love and Medicine Work, but I have a few points to make:

Heart Medicine is about loving deeply without expecting anything in return.

It is about not having an attachment to or expectation of the person, place, or thing you love.

It’s about the complete vulnerability of opening your heart and knowing that it could be crushed in return.

Only from this place, from this true risk, can the full spectrum of love exist. To feel love deeply, you must be willing to feel pain just as deeply.

So if you think you are leading your life with an open heart, ask yourself if you are indeed open enough to be absolutely annihilated as much as you are open to being deeply and profoundly loved. Are you open to being crushed as much as being blissed out? Do you, or can you, experience ecstatic joy as much as you experience life-altering sorrow?

Understanding and experiencing Heart Medicine means having it all — and holding it all at once.

A Plant Diet: Learning Lessons of Love

In my Shamanic practice, a big aspect of my work is working with plant spirits. I do this to bring healing to my community and to understand deeper knowledge of how the world works. Plants have all the secrets and information we need in order to heal and survive here on earth — it is us who choose not to be still long enough to listen and learn from them. About four years ago I was conducting a diet with a plant known for its Heart Medicine. When I conduct a plant diet, it requires me to ingest a specific plant for a designated amount of times per day, sometimes in combination with a strict diet, in order to learn from the plant. During this time, they will teach me what they can and sometimes transmit their healing abilities to me so I can conduct healing on clients. Each plant is very different, but all have similar ways in which they work. The plant realm is very specific in its rules of engagement. Read more about Spirit Plant Medicine here.

In this case, I had been working with this plant for about two months before the big opening happened. Every time I touched in with the plant spirit, I was told not to stop the diet, even though I felt like “nothing was happening”. Haha, my silly human brain is hilarious! Plant Medicine takes time to unfold, to breathe, and to integrate for us. It works on many dimensions, and the 3D is rarely one of them. In this case, I proceeded with the diet and had a Private Ceremony coming up on my schedule that was significant to me.

During this Ceremony, the person I was working with confessed to me that they committed an act that many individuals would feel unthinkable and unforgivable. It was in this moment of confessional that my heart completely exploded for him. I felt deep empathy, love, understanding, and full unconditional acceptance for him and what he had done. There was no judgment in my heart, only love at a depth I didn’t think possible. We remained in this space of deep love for the remainder of our time together and then about a year later I felt this person’s spirit cross over. They were stopping by to tell/show me that love had helped them unburden and “stop holding on”. *sob*

Opening the Hearts of Men Everywhere

It is no secret that I love men. I love working with men. I love putting my hands on men (for healing purposes, obviously). I love watching their inner child be seen for the first time in decades and the joy that is brought to their faces! I feel that one of my greatest gifts is the ability to open a man’s heart, and I do this through the expression of pure unconditional love. When I meet a man with a closed heart, my job is to see him, to love him, and to authentically expect nothing from him in return. He resonates with my love, and his heart is revealed in the process.

It requires from me a constant process of checking myself. What inner masculine aspects do I still need to heal? What do I still harbor against my father? What am I looking for in a mate that I am unwilling to look for in myself? This work goes deep for me as a facilitator, but it is the one that brings me the most joy.

In our culture, there is much expected from men. They are expected to support without question and often need to sacrifice themselves to do so. They are not allowed to be soft, emotional, silly, or playful. When they are, they are stripped of their masculinity and their strength. When they are boys they are not allowed to be feminine because god forbid the world see a boy with these qualities. So then they grow up and we end up with men who have closed hearts, who don’t know how to connect other than through the socially acceptable form of sex. They, in return, expect equally zipped-up women (petite, beautiful, soft maidens) and are not able to go any deeper due to the bottled rage that covers all the more painful feelings.

This, of course, isn’t all men. And this is only the surface of the big picture… but I think you get the gist of what I am saying here.

The key to healing the men of our world is through unconditional love and acceptance of their full state of being. Their wholeness — including all their soft and silly qualities. Their wildness and unbridled emotion. We cannot love them to get something from them, we need to love them because this is the thing they have been denied and also the thing they deserve most.

The Conditions of Love

I don’t think we realize how common it is for our love to have conditions or expectations attached.

Of course, this is different than saying “I will be married to you and we agree that the boundaries of our relationship include monogamy”. That’s a whole other conversation about containers of marriage, agreements around engaging with another person, and boundaries.

However, let’s look at some of the places where conditional love exists. These are just examples, they are not accusations or assumptions.

  • In a relationship, we can expect that a person love us a certain way in order for us to feel loved. We expect them to “be emotionally available” to the degree we want them to be. We expect them to manage their own emotions in a certain way. We expect them to be a “real man” or a “dutiful wife” based on beliefs that are often unconscious. We are attached to them choosing us at the end of the day. If they don’t do what makes us feel good, we may withdraw our love from them. We may shut down our own hearts long before it even gets to that point because we know just how painful it will be when it finally happens. Romantic Relationship is the place where most of our childhood wounding is revealed.
  • When relationships, romantic or platonic, no longer serve us, do we love them enough to let them go? Do we allow ourselves to go into grief or do we hang on for deep fear of the pain that is associated with that death? Again, pay attention to the fear that prevents us from loving fully and completely. Love means letting go.
  • In parenting, we may love our children but have expectations about how they must act, learn, exist, emote, or explore the world around them. We mold them with clothing, food, emotional response, screen time, socialization, etc. based on what we want them to be — consciously or unconsciously. This often happens without really observing them to see what they like and who they are without our influence.
  • In society, make note of who we “love” and “hate”. Celebrities, politicians, do-gooders of the world, and the Mother Theresas. How do we feel about the homeless? The ones who commit violence? Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump? The answer to this question, the fact that we even have to ask it, says a lot about the collective lack of ability for us to be truly vulnerable in our heart spaces. It says a lot about our collective shadow (the reason/thing that needs to be healed to understand why our hearts are so closed). People must behave or live in a way deemed acceptable in order for us to feel love for them.

I invite you to ponder how tender and vulnerable love would feel for you if you released these expectations, hopes, or attachments. Do you feel the edge where you could be crushed? If we released the conditions and allowed ourselves to feel deeply without needing anything in return, what would happen?

This is where we meet the Medicine of the Heart. Once you have dipped your tender heart into the Medicine realm, it has the potential to be taken to a deeper level. A new doorway may open at this intersection to expand the dimensions of what is possible for you.

Pure Love (and What it Can Do)

In my work, I work with Love as Medicine. It means working with it in that unlimited non-linear space where Medicine exists, where there are no rules except those prescribed by the Mystery of the Universe. When I work with a person, I love them as if they are my child, my partner, my brother or sister, the love of my life … all rolled into one. I see who they are, who they were, and who they will be. I see the things they never got to do, the demons they carry from the things they have done, and the shame that burdens them from the things they have said.

And I love every corner of them fully and completely. Unconditionally.

When I don’t or can’t, I know this is a space where I must look deep within. Why am I judging this person? Why is my heart not able to open fully to them? This is the signpost that points me to my next healing path for myself. This is something the Medicine does not allow me to skim over, she makes me face these things over and over again to deepen my integrity as a Medicine Woman and to deepen my availability for love.

With every client, every Ceremony, every person I touch, I see the possibility of what love can do. Love can open locked doors that have been rusted shut. It can transmute density created over ten lifetimes. Love can heal illness spontaneously without sending it out to attach to someone else. It can bring down a thousand walls created through the hardest of lifetimes.

My favorite part about Love is its ability to light up the heart of the person who receives it. If even just 1% of the people on this planet had their hearts awakened and led from them, the world would be a very different place.

The Price of Love

As with many of the things I do as a Medicine Person, this ability to carry Love as a Medicine is both a gift and a grief. I don’t say this in a martyr sort of way, but to address the concept of sacrifice in a healthy way as it pertains to my path. This is a sacrifice that is required to come to such an understanding of love, and to carry it with pure intent. Personally, I sometimes feel it to be a heavy price. For me to carry love as a Medicine, I am constantly being asked to open my own heart further so I may remain an open and clear channel for this energy.

I am often asked to maintain a one-way flow of pure open-hearted love while also accepting that I will get nothing in return. I am required to put my heart out on the table knowing that someone can come down with a hammer immediately and reject it. I am asked to love myself with this same intensity, despite a lifetime of being told or treated like I am unlovable. Oof the amount of vulnerability and ongoing childhood trauma work makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

For Example, I am currently building a friendship with someone who is here to expand my heart further. Every time I interact with this person, I feel so safe to express my heart that I wake up the next day feeling raw, ashamed, and cringy. This is the vulnerability hangover in action, a sign that wounds have been exposed for healing. I have revealed my heart and when it’s allowed the space to be witnessed with non-judgment, it clears out one more layer of shame and “hiding”. After this process, my chest often hurts and I feel a small amount of energy returning to my body. When I am around this person, a steady stream of ecstatic joy and profound love flows through my body, and I feel like I have eaten a handful of mushrooms. It’s absolutely wild.

So, what’s the sacrifice here? It’s unrequited love, which means I must continue to show up, bare my heart, and know that it will never be returned in the way I could hope. This is, for whatever reason, part of my heart-healing process. I don’t do it because it’s fun, I do it because I am being asked to expand my heart once again so I can bring that to the people who work with me.

Working with the Medicine of the Heart, the Medicine of Love, means really experiencing the the full spectrum of love and everything that comes with it. To love fully means to lose fully. It means to grieve, to break open over and over again. To give without getting. It’s a place of great bliss and joy, but also of great pain.



Nadia Hrynkiw

Medicine Woman specializing in Shamanic Healing & Ceremony, Teaching, Community Building, and Founder of