Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The key to your heart

Forgive me. Somehow I missed my own timing on this one.  It was intended to be posted yesterday.

Valentine's Day.  Although a "Hallmark holiday" is a day when we are focused on letting those we love know in the form of gifts, cards, meals that they are important to us, special.  Of course we should be doing that every day and honestly, I'm one for spotaneous romanticism.  I much prefer flowers, delivered to the office, for no reason at all.  But that's not the point of this post.

One of the many analogies of romantic love is "giving the keys to your heart".  I never really thought about that phrase much until I started writing this key series.  The first thing that came to mind was a conversation with a former lover about happiness.  I had said something to the effect that this person made me happy and that I would be incredibly sad without them.  The response floored me.  Instead of thanking me for the compliment, he said that he never wanted that much responsibility in anyone's life.  He went on to explain that we should all be capable of creating our own invidual happiness with a love interest merely putting an extra shine on the happiness we had already found and maintained on our own.

Being single for ten years now, I completely understand what my lover meant.  I have not only achieved my own happiness, I have found joy and peace.  As much as I would love to be in a romantic relationship, I have established an entirely new circle of friends that stretches from New York City, to Chicago and now to Los Angeles without traveling any farther than a three hour drive.  These people, with their arts, talents and spirituality have filled my life with so much vibrance, inspiration and blessing.  When I am interacting with them, either face-to-face, over the phone or on-line the colors of our friendships are brighter and just more but when I am alone, that joy and love is still there.  The flame is a softer one and warm instead of strikingly hot but I am genuinely happy.

So what about the keys to my heart.  I've always been able to unlock my own emotions and set them free.  I've never been one to actively look for "the one" who can open me up but some people have come along that have shown me new "rooms" within myself.  Sometimes it does take someone new to release emotions, spiritual ideals or creativity.  But are they the only ones who can do that?  Maybe it's possible that they were one of many who had those particular keys on their ring.  There maybe others that have them too.  The thing is, and here is the wisdom being unlocked, you already had those keys on your ring from day one so when or if that person leaves your life, you can unlock those doors yourself.  We all know deep down that no matter how badly the relationship ended and how much it hurts to revisit parts of ourselves, eventually the hurt subsides and we remember the lessons learned and realize that there are places we want or need to go back to, good things that we desire even without that person there to share them.  We never forget where those rooms are and most of us probably poked around at them while we were healing from the break-up it just hurt too much at the moment to actually open them.

A personal story about the rooms in my heart and in my spirit that I slammed shut and then boarded over years later in a different relationship.  I ended up with someone that was so different from me that I moved into the basement of my heart and soul, leaving creativity and spirituality in the bright sunny rooms on the main floor and in the attic.  I spent 20 years bending and shaping myself into someone so far from my real self trying to make this person happy.  When I think about it now...I never had the keys to his heart and nothing on his ring fit the doors of mine.  Instead of opening me up, he shut me down. When I finally walked away from that relationship, I came upstairs from the basement.  I threw open every single door and fountains of color and beauty poured from every one.  Yes, some of the objects in those rooms had collected dust so I cleaned them off and opened all the curtains.  Then I kept going up to the attic; the home of all my quirks and excentricities.  Old dress forms, cheval mirrors, giant bird cages and my grandmother's evening gowns all waiting for my return.  Yes, I did reconnect with an old lover during this process and he opened a door or two but mostly he stood by and watched me open them with my own keys.  And when my new found energy proved too much for him, he left.  I was sad but I didn't shut those doors.  In fact some of them wouldn't close if I tried.

The points are these.  First, don't ever think that someone else is the sole bearer of the keys to any part of you.  Yes, revel in the joy when that person does unlock something in you but remember that if that door gets closed at some point down the road, YOU have a key to it too.  Second, don't ever give away your keys.  Don't lay the responsibilty of your joy, your peace and your love on any one person.  It's not a compliment.  And in reverse, don't feel that you are special if that person claims you are the owner of their keys.  That is a dependent relationship and if you both are doing it, it's co-dependency and that is a sick, dysfunctional relationship that will poison the people in it and anyone close to it.

The next time you put on a piece of jewelry or clothing that depicts a key, think about it this way...that is YOUR key.  You own it for life.  Don't give it away.  Sure, you can let others use their keys but always remind yourself that when those people are far away and you want to feel, create, pray, whatever and the door got closed for one reason or another YOU!! can unlock it.

1 comment:

  1. Thoughtful. I shall have to percolate on this as I feel my doors are closed.