Blog: Bottom of My Heart

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Burt Ross

I thought with Valentine’s Day upon us, I might as well write a blog/column about the heart, since for reasons I do not comprehend, love and heart seem intertwined.

After all these years, I am still having difficulty mastering the English language. You would think by now I would have it down pat, but the truth is that many of our most common expressions still confuse me.

The other day I heard some politician declare, “from the bottom of my heart.” Like the late, great Sam Cooke, I don’t know much about biology, but I vaguely recall the heart is basically an indispensable organ pumping blood throughout our body.

I recently looked at a diagram of the heart which is divided into four ventricles, and it is not that easy to determine with precision exactly where the bottom of the heart is, nor can I begin to discern why saying something from the bottom of one’s heart is more believable than from anywhere else in your body.

I don’t even understand why the heart is such a preferred organ. Romantic feelings seem to be attributed to the heart. A man gets rejected by his girlfriend and bemoans, “She broke my heart.” The fact is that had his heart been broken, he wouldn’t have been able to bemoan one word—end of conversation.

When Cupid decides to unite two lovers he inexplicably shoots an arrow into the heart. That act alone would be more than enough to kill the person whose heart was penetrated, but no, it is seen as an act of love.

According to my friends at Google, the origin of this strange expression “from the bottom of my heart” comes from people experiencing a sensation around the heart area when filled with emotion. The digestive tract is remotely in that area also, and people also experience a strange sensation when filled with the remains of a spicy burrito.

I guess it sounds more romantic to say “from the bottom of my heart” than “from my gastrointestinal tract,” but what do I know—apparently very little. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! May your heart not be broken, and I say this from the bottom of my heart.