Growing up I realized I had a love for literature. A writer who captured my attention almost instantly was Edgar Allen Poe. My first piece I ever read of his was none other than the Tell-Tale Heart. It tells the story of a man who murdered the older gentleman he cared for. He then buries the man under the floor boards in the home. When the police came he then becomes so confident that he sits them in the very spot he buried the old man. It isn’t long before his guilt begins to take control of him. He starts to hear the pounding of the dead man’s heart thrusting through the floor. He eventually tells on himself, pulling up the floor boards, confessing to the police what he had done. The story is a great example of how guilt has a nasty way of driving us to insanity. In recently re-reading this story, I realized that some of us have had experiences with a Tell-Tale Heart. Whether we were the one who buried the heart or the one whose heart was buried, we may have lived out this storyline more than we realize.
Sometimes you can have someone whose heart you have broken or vice versa. You then bury that heart under the floorboards of your very heart. You then allow someone else to come into your heart. Then you confidently let that new person occupy the space of your heart right above where you buried the last one. It seems as if you have gotten away with something until your guilt starts to kick in. You start to hear that heart you buried calling out to you. You try to ignore it but you can’t get the sound of that buried heart out of your head. You try to keep yourself occupied with the new person you allowed to sit on top of that beating heart but it doesn’t work. You try to spend more time with them, you try to tell yourself you love them, you try to focus on only them. Yet and still you can’t get that beating heart to stop pounding so loud. You realize maybe it wasn’t a good idea to bury that old heart. That you shouldn’t have been so comfortable with bringing a new person around that buried heart. Now you’re trying to not let the new person see that you are bothered by something. But there is only so much you can do before the beating of that buried heart will drive you to pull up the boards of your heart and deal with what you have done.
In other words, sometimes we hurt people or they hurt us. We severe the ties with them. Instead of disposing of them, we keep them round whether physically or mentally, leaving the potential for our guilt to get the best of us. We then move on to someone else, confident in our decision. We then allow this new person into our hearts but we haven’t gotten rid of the last person. Again, we are confident that the new person will never find out that there is someone else who is buried in our hearts. We always underestimate the power of guilt. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before we will start to tell on ourselves. Our actions will begin to tell what lies beneath. We will begin to lose our cool and allow our true feelings to unearth. It will force us to have to be honest about the things we have buried within our hearts.
The truth is the heart has a way of speaking its true contents. It will only allow the false sense of confidence long enough before driving you to a place of insanity to confess everything within it. We should be sure to clear things out so we do not put ourselves in compromising positions. We can avoid the Tell-Tale heart by disposing of things and people instead of burying them within us. It’s time for us to dispose of the things that we’ve tucked neatly under the floorboards of our hearts. Until we do, we will continue to be swallowed in guilt by the beating hearts that pound vehemently in our minds. Ask yourself, are there any hearts buried under your floor boards?