The key to healthy relationships
RAFT Team, December 18, 2018
I stayed at a hotel recently and the key to the room was an electronic gizmo that looked like a key. It inserted into the lock like a key and turned like a key.
I wondered, “why the trouble to make this new technology look like old tech?”
Comfort to the guests. We all know what a key looks like. We are all creatures of habit and want to feel secure, so holding a key in our hand is a familiar feeling.
This key was different. It was embedded with the code to get into a particular room. Room 1167 would not be able to work on the lock for room 1624.
Makes perfect sense.
All the keys, however, were able to access the elevators that took each guest to any floor they wanted to visit. I have been in hotels where your room key only allowed you to access your floor, and if you had a friend on another floor they had to let you in.
This got me thinking about the symbolism and metaphors we have for keys:
The keys to our hearts.
The key to success.
The 5 or 10 or 100 keys to ______
The ONE key to happiness
Happiness is key to ________
Food is the key to a man’s heart
I am sure you can come up with other sayings.
When we allow people to enter into our lives, we give them a symbolic key of trust. We welcome them into our private spaces. We don’t say, “you are only allowed to use the kitchen but not the bathroom.” We ASSUME that they will respect the trust we have given.
However, when the people we trust take the key we have offered and turn it against us, we feel violated. We may say things like,
“I trusted you to not steal my money when we opened our joint account.”
“I trusted you to not have sex with my best friend when we went out last night.”
“I trusted you to not bash my face in when you are angry and blame all your failures on me.”
Each one of the above sentences represents a situation where we GAVE the key to our hearts and lives to another and they use that key to wreck our lives.
When this happens, we must find the courage to “lock” them out of our hearts. That, often feels quite impossible.
We feel like they know us too well for us to set any real boundaries. Often, they know us better than we feel we know ourselves, but that is not true.
We must find the courage to block the codes they have used to enter our private heart spaces. If we have values of love and bravery and courage, they know our strengths and may say “Well you say you have love as a value, but you can’t find a way to love me as I am. You must be a liar!”
When this happens, we may try to prove them wrong by showing them how much love we have and we may stay in unhealthy situations longer than we should.
What to do?
Turn those values of Love and Bravery and Courage back on yourself and show your own self that you have the only key to emotional freedom. Freedom to choose a healthy relationship over one that causes pain.
Love and light