You can persuade a person to change their mind – but you can never persuade them to change their heart.
Quite frankly, you’ve no right to even try.
There is nothing more fickle and unpredictable than the human heart (barring the human mind, of course) but no one can accuse this wild beast of being disloyal.
The heart continues to love when the rest of our being has stubbornly turned a cold shoulder, a blind eye or even a deaf ear.
Hearts keep the faith long after all signs of life and possibility have come – and died.
They are unquestionably foolish but they are true.
They are loyal even to the point of total madness or downright stupidity.
What they’re not?
They are not toys to be played with and then discarded.
They are not ours for the taking… they are only ours for the giving.
You can accept a person’s heart but you can never steal it…
A song by Christina Perri, entitled Jar of Hearts, runs as follows, “Who do you think you are? Running round leaving scars, collecting your jar of hearts and tearing love apart. You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul.”
And that’s the whole point… Human hearts are not collector’s items and if you have a heart, you’d know that.
Most of us have, at one time or another in our lives, had our hearts played with, almost figuratively tossed from hand-to-hand, dropped once or twice before finally, they were thrown to the ground, accidentally (or even intentionally) trodden on and broken…
No one puts Baby in the corner… your heart? Well, that’s an entirely different story now, is it not?
And as much as some people may be cunning and find ways to deceive the most gullible and fragile of our vital organs (for those of you without a heart – yes, it actually does do a lot more than just pump blood and keep us alive) sometimes, we ourselves are the only ones to blame for its condition and well-being at the end of the day.
Hearts are wild creatures and that’s why our ribs are cages… but if we release them from their cages and hand them out freely to everyone that comes along or that pretends to care, to value what we have inside us, then we must assume some responsibility for their eventual damaged states.
If I give you my heart, you may do whatever you like with it. Its a heady power, holding another’s heart within your grasp, knowing you can so easily do what you will with it and few people have the strength to resist even the slightest ‘dabbling’ when they are offered something so freely or have such a precious commodity given to them without question.
(For yes, I believe that all hearts – and their owners – are indeed precious. If not to us, then at least to someone out there… remember that before you shatter something that may very well be intended for someone else one day.)
So before you turn around and blame the person who broke your heart as you went around wearing it as plain as day on your shirtsleeve… bear in mind that you hold an equal share of the blame.
This is not to say that we should fear to love… Even unrequited love has a way of being beautiful and no one’s heart has ever grown cold or shrivelled by loving too much, of this I feel almost entirely certain.
Whereas keeping them clammed up and refusing to let anyone in has just the opposite effect.
Hearts are, thankfully, the most resilient of creatures… Yes, they can be broken in thirty seconds flat but they can also be pieced together again… If not instantly, then at least eventually.
They can endure the worst and most intense kinds of emotional, and sometimes even literal, pain and still, they find ways to keep on beating in time.
They learn from their mistakes… well, sort of… but mostly they tend to repeat their erroneous ways as they have rather a knack for getting overcome with emotion or excitement, which causes them to start jumping up and down in our chests, thus rendering them oblivious to the real reality before them, much like a bunch of girls at their favourite boy band’s concert.
Okay, so, they’re not the brightest of creatures around and, whilst your heart will always point you to the true North – to the things really worth obtaining and keeping with us in this life – sometimes it has to stop and ask your brain for directions… not that they ever agree on most matters but still.
Sometimes our hearts are misguided – and misplaced. We hand them out to people who don’t even want them and wonder when they reject what we have offered them.
By all means, let someone reject your heart but never allow them to mess with it.
Because yes, having your heart rejected hurts like hell… but you’ll survive and for every person who doesn’t want what we have to give, there will be another person ready and waiting to claim it.
However, it’s important to know that having your heart played with, lied to or secretly deceived, hurts far more than the sting of rejection or unreturned passion and personally, I know which option I would always opt for if and when the worst comes to the worst.
That being said, it’s up to each of us as individuals to learn how to correctly (and decently) guard not just our own hearts but also those of the ones we love.
You can love someone without giving them your heart… but you never love them without permitting them entrance into yours (note: yes, you’ve been lying to yourself up until now if you believed otherwise) and if they are valuable enough to occupy even the tiniest space in your heart of hearts, then surely they are precious enough for you to allow them to remain there without you having to feel there’s something wrong with it or fearing that they don’t belong there just because you don’t feel the same kind of love towards them..?
For hearts do indeed feel different kinds of love for different people and always at differing levels of intensity, but love is love… whether it’s for your soulmate or your friend – and I don’t believe we should ever be afraid to love someone just because they love us in a different way or for opposing reasons.
You cannot control that aspect, unfortunately… but that doesn’t mean you need to spurn or deny it entirely. If you do, one day it might come back to haunt you.
And finally, hearts are expansive… They grow in strength, in love, in knowledge and ultimately, in wisdom, the further we progress through life and the older we become.
Sometimes what they feel for other people fades or dies away entirely but other times it grows or changes into something we never thought possible.
So whatever you do with your heart, please don’t hole it up in a dark place where no one can find or access it – and if I give you my heart, well, baby, please, by all means turn it down… but don’t think you can just come along and break it.
It’s not a toy and when it heals to, you won’t have a place in it ever again… and you wouldn’t deserve to.