If you are given a heart, make sure your hands are empty so there is room to handle it. Your skin needn’t be perfectly clean. It’s alright if there’s a little dirt beneath your fingernails. But make sure there is a spot in your palms to cradle it gently.
If you are given a heart, take it seriously enough to heal yourself. Be good to not just the new heart in your possession, but your own heart as well. Trust that you were handed it for a reason and take it seriously. Take it seriously enough to know when to play and when to laugh… to know when to scream and when to cry.
If you are given a heart, listen to how it beats for a while. You don’t need to rush in with words you aren’t ready for. Close your eyes. Breathe in time with it. Hear what it is saying. Hear what it isn’t saying. There will be a time for questions and a time for answers and a time for endless cycles of conversations about groceries and chores and weekend plans. But for now, just listen.
If you are given a heart, explore the broken parts. They might be immediately visible or they might be tucked into a dusty, unlit corner. Bring a flashlight. Oh, a hammer and nails won’t get you very far with this break. But a cup of tea, fuzzy blankets, and homemade cookies might do the trick.
If you are given a heart, introduce it yours. Discover where the heartprints align. Equally important, understand where they don’t. It’s okay if one of them is a bit shy. Let them spend a little time together. Sometimes, music will help them open up.
If you are given a heart, inquire. Ask what makes it rush and flush with energy and excitement. Don’t ask to answer. Ask to learn. Ask and commit to memory the way they jump a bit when they talk about their favorite book or game or movie or dessert. You’ll want to remember that.
If you are given a heart, ask it to dance. They might tell you that they do not know the song. They might warn you that they haven’t danced in years. They might hesitate or boogie offbeat. They might flail or twirl or want to run away before the music even picks up. That’s okay.
If you are given a heart, honor it. There’s a good chance that their owner trusts you very much and if that is true, you should behave in a way that justifies their belief. There are many ways to honor a heart and there is no one proper answer. But if you are holding a heart, it is up to you to determine how this heart needs honored.
If you are given a heart, make sure you can hold it responsibly.