As February dances to its love tune for obvious reasons, have you ever wondered what color and shape is your heart taking this Valentine? Is it the heart that is crimson for you or is there space for other palettes and patterns to take over? Almost like a game of cards with different shapes speaking for themselves, can we allow ourselves to think differently? At its peak, Greek society painted its culture with the colors of comedy and tragedy. Catharsis or not, the impression has been deeply ingrained through generations of audiences from The Odeon to The Globe of Shakespeare to continuously evolving modern means of storytelling. People continue to fall in love overcoming barriers of ethnicity, color, race, religion, class, language, or gender. The structure of that love may have shifted over time, but the roots have remained firm. Across films, music, art, literature, or poetry, the sense of affection has floated with blurred boundaries, but the palettes and designs of love differ with time, but emotions have adamantly stood the test of time.
Humming to Sting’s Shape of my heart (where he compared these shapes with separate identifications), are we ready to put a name to those individual shapes that carry our emotions? What if Cinderella’s masquerade did not wait for the clock to strike at 12? Would she still have got her prince charming? Perhaps if Snow White had not eaten the round red apple, her heart would not have experienced that eternal kiss of life! When we connect romance with the heart, we forget that its hypothetical shape is a mere figment of our imagination. Sorry to burst the bubble! Despite the knowledge, the innumerable amount of content that we see, hear or read, relates to that picture-perfect ‘heart’ shape. There are so many of us who believe in love in different forms. The existence of this one shape of the heart seems to be uniform to all of us. Most of us wear a mask that incessantly identifies with our existing view, constantly suppressing the inner voice questioning its weird, cliched existence. Perhaps we fear the potential loss of human emotions that may end up unfolding the reality.
This Valentine when you think of experiencing or reconfirming your thoughts about emotions, don’t ignore the ones that run wild. All shapes and forms of love in and around us need our focused thoughts. Let them act as lightning bolts, spread like wildfire, and enable us to think out of the box! The game that humans play with each other whether romantically, personally, emotionally is as risky as that game of cards. A spade is not just a spade it acts as a sharp weapon for soldiers unwittingly trapped in the battle of hearts. This Valentine, we can experience ‘clubs’ or we can buy ‘diamonds’, the cards on their own don’t have a value. While it has been associated with decadence, we should not undermine the kind of effect monetary independence brings. As we progress in this claimed month for love and tenderness, friendships, and happiness, connect and progress, we must try to understand the importance of understanding that shape. The size of our emotions does not matter. What matters is that we play the game with patience and fairness for the stakes are always high!
While it is now being argued that the mind is flat, there is still scope for acceptance of some ideas of thinking developed through studies of the mind over the past century. The geometry that surrounds different shapes reveals their intended inferences. For instance, shapes like squares and rectangles bring a sense of stability, balance, structure while circular shapes tend to bring about the concept of wholeness, self, timeliness, and completion. Then there is a triangle that even inputs its emotions to emerge with ideas of enlightenment, revelation, brightness surrounding ourselves. It’s heartening to see that the world is moving towards an acknowledgment of the individuality and uniqueness around us. The enforcement of uniform color, shape, and type is not justified when we start attaching emotions with them. These angles of possibility can be surrounded by stereotypical ideas and ideals, yet the result of any relationship can be completely new. What’s more, they can evolve into unthinkable complications, pretty much like these shapes and their mysterious psychological patterns.
The physically fixed-shaped heart has done its fair share of somersaults from films, music, to logic. Wh
en we take literature as well into account, we will find that its journey has been quite adventurous. The characters in books have been brought to life quite often with the awakening of love in their ongoing existence. From early on, this shape has gotten accustomed to the development of the plot, characters, and dialogues. Books bring with them elements of surprise and many times play with the readers’ emotions. A classic or contemporary literary piece of work has its romance. Different angles of this love have played their mystery games in quite many of them.
This Valentine as we think about the shapes and colors our hearts are ready to acquire, are we ready to dance on our own, or do we need our kings and queens to pop the champagne? Perhaps it’s time that we have the same love first for ourselves. With all due respect to our partners, there should not be any illusion as I am not trying to lessen the value of this day but am merely adding a corner of self-love to it! Just like any romantic film’s protagonist, we can very well play the part of characters having mutual affection. However, it is equally important to know that we do not crave a singular dimension. The endgame is perhaps the acknowledgment from ourselves that we matter. We unconsciously long for this confirmation from others rather than ourselves. This ever-trickling loss of self-worth keeps gaining momentum without a counterbalance. It latches itself onto our desires for freedom of thought and expression, self-love, mutual respect, unconditional devotion for our relationship with our surroundings. Instead, we can make it a day for loving ourselves too while respecting each other. Perhaps we may find the real shape of our heart that we can color to our heart’s desire!