Heart. What is Heart? It is the biological structure that pumps life into every part of our body. Then, what do we mean when we say, ‘put your heart into it’. When things get tough and the road becomes difficult to travel, we use those words to serve as a push to enliven ourselves and make it possible to surpass any hurdle that we are facing.
In a way, what we try to say is, ‘put all of your soul into it, put every bit of effort into that very moment’. That is what it means to follow your heart and use it to its full potential, and that is the purpose our heart serves.
The heart, like a selfless life form, incessantly provides life to our eyes so that we can communicate our deepest emotions, helps our ears listen to the serene sounds of nature, allows our nose to breathe in the freshness of the life-giving air that surrounds us and to take in the sweet fragrance of blossoms, aids our mouth to relish every bit of what we chew, assists our hands to touch and feel the ones we love, and our feet to reach out to our own. Irrespective of the poetic nature of expression, our heart is what keeps us going and permits progress.
…The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. – Harold Wilson
But like everything living thing goes through phases of ups and downs, a heart, similarly undergoes stress, tension, discord, agitation, partly due to it’s own stubbornness to continue to provide life and partly because of the one whose heart it is. As a being with a heart, there are always conflicts, decisions, paths, choices, which give rise to gains and some losses. Every choice we make, we lose out on the other and every path we travel, the other remains untraveled.
Paulo Coelho in his book of dreams, The Alchemist, beautifully depicts the significance of following our hearts.
“Because, wherever you heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”
The author also dissects the most common and agitating obstacles faced when following our heart in the pursuit of dreams. He goes on to talk about how the heart, though a strong and unyielding, tends towards capriciousness.
“But my heart is agitated, it has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman… It asks things of me and it keeps me from sleeping many nights…”
He goes on to explain why one must listen to the heart, and such emotions only indicate that the heart is alive and full of vigor. And to avoid a life of regrets, one must pay heed when the heart tells them to, and chase after that vision. Because..
“…you will never again be able to keep it quite. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”
Another message conveyed is equally important. Knowing your dreams and wishes, is knowing your heart. This way, your heart prepares you to deal with anything and avoid unexpected blows. Because the reality is, the inner voice is your heart, that is something you will never be able to escape, so it is always better to listen and follow through with what your heart says or else a time will come when you will realize that the momentary fear you chose to avoid when trying to follow your dreams was nothing compared to the life of insurmountable regret which you instead chose to lead.