"Close to your heart" is an English idiom describing something or someone dearly loved. It can be used to describe anything that has earned a great deal of affection from a person, often through familiarity with it over time. The meaning of this phrase comes from the fact that the heart is considered the organ of the human body that is the source of all love and affection. As such, anyone or anything that resides close to it will be on the receiving end of those feelings.
There are many ways to describe the feeling of love in the English language. Many expressions have come to symbolize love, which is often considered the most powerful emotion for human beings to experience. Idiomatic expressions can provide a person different ways to say similar things, which is useful when pondering a subject as popular as love. These idioms often stray from the literal meaning of their words. One of the most common phrases used to show love and affection is the idiom "close to your heart."
This phrase often refers to someone of whom another person is particularly fond. For example, consider the sentence, "I never knew that Chad was so close to your heart; you two are really falling for each other." The implication here is that the speaker is suggesting that Chad is dearly loved by the person in question, since he resides, figuratively, in a position that implies great affection.
In many cases, people use this phrase to describe some non-living thing that has become particularly beloved to them. An example of this might be the sentence, "You've shown by all of your charity and fund-raising efforts that fighting cancer is something that is very close to your heart." This sentence is suggesting that the person being addressed is genuinely passionate about the cause of fighting cancer. The phrase is versatile enough to include both people and things as possible subjects.
Another phrase similar to this idiom is "dear to your heart," as in, "We always knew that little boy was very dear to your heart." In either case, the idea is the same. Anything that has found a place close or dear to someone's heart is clearly something that means a great deal to them. Obviously, no person or cause can literally get "close to your heart," but, like all idioms, the literal meaning of the phrase is the source for its colorful and expressive nature.