Some wear their hearts on their sleeves. Hearts on sleeves have their advantages. They are easy to access, making things that requires hearts easier to accomplish. Tears, smiles, and laughs come easily. Others can care for them easily too because they see the pain and pleasure. She they can choose their words and actions to bring joy. But hearts on sleeves have their disadvantages too. They are wide open to hurt, often unintentional, but sometimes not. It’s easy for those with malice in their hearts to cause them pain, taking advantage of how easy it is to cause tears. In time this pain can cause the heart to develop a healthy protective layer, which allows some in but keeps some out.

Some take their hearts and lock them inside a box. Hearts locked in boxes have their advantages. Those with malice in their hearts cannot access, nor can others accidentally wound them. But they have their disadvantages too. It’s impossible for others to reach them, causing them to slowly shrivel and die. But even these hearts have their kryptonite. Like Cindy Lou Who reached the grinch’s hardened heart, someone or something holds the key to reaching the locked heart. Their words, their actions cause the box to open. And as it opens, the feelings flood in, pain and pleasure long unfelt. And the heart begins to grow again, bigger and bigger until it feels like it just might burst. Then, only then does their heart bloom, allowing them to truly feel alive.

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