The Heart Wants What It Wants


In my freshman year of college, in a moment of wanting to be deep and humorous, I blurted out, “The heart wants what it wants.” I look back and laugh. It was funny. And my friends found it more funny than deep. Of course, I’m not the first person to ever think of that phrase. I doubt I will be the last.

Speaking from the heart is a rarity these days, I think. In the first place, many of us get silenced and are often made to feel embarrassed and ashamed whenever we say something true to our feelings. People leave us hanging, they belittle our emotions, and in so doing we often do not trust them or ourselves to really speak our minds, much less speak from the heart. Moreover, many try to appear so detached and cool; emotions are uncool.

I have never been the kind of person who believes that our emotions are everything. I probably never will be. I think emotions can trick you into believing things that are objectively not true. But as I get older, I have been more compassionate to emotions – not only to those of others, but my own as well. Your emotions are not everything, but they do mean something. Always.

And when it comes to what we want, and especially when there is a who involved, the intensity of emotions can feel so real that they feel tangible. I think, or perhaps I don’t think, but I believe that most people feel more intensely than they let on. Because the truth is most of us are not as collected as the demeanor we portray. We are not as tempered as the calculated words that we use to indicate our affections. And we are not as put-together about the way we feel about those we feel for.

Most of the time we are desperate for the people whose affections we want returned. We are left wishing and waiting and hoping that the little bits and pieces of our hearts that we give to someone we feel for, will be reciprocated. When we feel, we are consumed by everything about the person – from the superficial, to the very essence of their being. Perhaps that’s why heartbreak is so easy – because we are human and when we feel, we feel a lot.

The truth, I think, is the heart does what it wants. Even when it is irrational and stupid. Even if you know something or someone is bad for you, or maybe doesn’t feel the same way as you do, or things don’t go as smoothly or as quickly as you want them to. All love, and yes, even the kind that is not a forever or a die-hard kind of love, but a passing and temporary kind, is insanity. Our hearts betray our senses and sensibilities all the time.

And even when we swear up and down that the next time, we will be wiser, more careful, and much better prepared, our hearts knock us down and we fall again. Yes, indeed the heart wants what it wants. And we often let it have it. Even if it’s only in our imagination. And maybe that’s why we break our own hearts ever so often. Because we give it away when we shouldn’t; we say “yes” when we should say “no.” But at least we can take solace from knowing that the heart will always heal itself. Ironically of course, with more love, more pain, more insanity. There is no escape.

The heart wants what it wants.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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