"The heart is forever making the head its fool."
François de la Rochefoucauld
WOULD that I was as careful with my heart as with my purse.
I remember well my first real crush - my first heartache. I'll not name her here. Far too many of my school friends read my ramblings. Some of the more astute may even guess her name. Suffice it to say her rejection - really I should say her rejections as I was never one to give up readily - finally left me agonizing in adolescent anguish. I was certain life as I knew it, all 12 years of it, had met its end. I could not, did not want to, live on.
I also remember that rare instance of kindness and wisdom from my mother. Seldom could I have described our relationship as one of "friendship". No! Mother was truly God-created specifically to rule our house with an iron fist. Seldom with a velvet glove. Now, to be clear, no one could doubt her loving intent or righteous admonition. She simply believed a parent had a distinct calling - to parent. NOT to be a "buddy". I cannot fault her for that. I'm fairly certain our society would benefit today from such a nostalgic notion.
My earliest dark days of romantic rejection, however, were filled with maternal compassion. "Let this be a lesson, baby... be very careful to whom you give your heart." And, "Time heals all things, Dennis. Even the heart mends although it may not seem so just now."
Sure enough, in short order, my heart was mended... and left with few if any notable scars to show for my love's rejection.
Yes, we all - or I would think most of us - were at some young age gifted with those words of wisdom, that cliché about giving the heart wisely and with great caution. But what about all of those other heart traps? Those many unexpected treacherous heart paths we encounter throughout our lives? Who warns us about those? Well... it may be a bit too late for some, but I am here to impart to you, those of you less experienced, some wise words of advice.
We've all said or thought, most likely many times, "I've got my heart set on .... " Ahh! There you go. Who, I ask you, ever told you to be careful where and on what you should 'set your heart'? Unfortunately and all too often we carelessly fling our hearts onto unsubstantial, unrealistic, and shifting shelves without giving enough, if any, thought to whether they are safe and secure. Let's see. Perhaps it all started with something like "I've got my heart set on a Ford Mustang convertable". Or, "I've got my heart set on being class president". Later, if we have been instilled with a sense of self reliance and responsibility, it may have been "I've got my heart set on becoming CEO, or Senator, Governor, President, or my company's number ONE sales representative". Or- should we be less inclined to work and more inclined to believe in Lady Luck - "I've got my heart set on winning the lottery". All worthy goals, perhaps. And - possibly attainable. But my point is...
Who told us that our hearts can be broken by many things other than romantic misadventures?
And so, if it's not too late... if your heart remains fairly unscathed by unrealistic or unlikely aspirations... be careful upon what you set it. And, I speak from experience here, DON'T - even if your heart is set on it - spend your life savings on lottery tickets.