Updated: Oct 19, 2020
I got a text from my friend…”do you have my keys in your stuff?” I go and look through my things and come up empty. I respond with “no, that sucks hope you find them.”
This wouldn’t have been such a big deal except that it also happened to be his birthday and this is not someone who loses his keys. So in the process of celebrating being on the cusp of another year, his keys go missing and all ten locks to his house need to be changed out cutting into the birthday festivities.
I got to thinking about this beautiful metaphor. There are so many layers to this but let’s begin by looking at the symbology of keys and locks. Keys are something that open and close things. They have been found as a symbol throughout history as symbolizing freedom, entry or passage into something. A key is often associated with an ability to unlock a barrier that leads to an unknown or to something we are seeking. It can mean freedom and safety, like the keys to a house or they can symbolize confinement and being trapped like those to a jail cell.
Historically keys have also symbolized power and authority. There are many references to deities or other figures holding keys which had the power to unlock cities, gates, underworlds, paths to enlightenment or eternal life. The word is antagonistic suggesting that it carries a dual meaning. For example, a key can both lock and unlock something or a key not only has the power to set someone free, it can also deprive someone of that same freedom. The symbol is both literal, in the sense of opening or closing things such as homes, cars, doors, safes, etc.; and it is also figurative, having the ability to unlock knowledge, power, security, happiness, potential or hold clues, pieces and solutions to a problem.
Looking at this event, the tool: his keys, which have unlocked and locked his house and kept he and his family safe are lost. Maybe for him it was just another annoyance, something that interrupted the celebration and yet the outer is always a reflection of the inner and an opportunity for growth. As my friend begins another trip around the sun, so a new cycle begins. A new lock and key perhaps represents a new opportunity, a change or new beginning. Not only can a new key open to something like the unknown or a new path in life, it can also keep out anything unwanted. New locks and keys suggests getting a new lease on life, if one chooses to see it that way. Or maybe there is a new level of safety that is desired and having new locks and keys offers a greater sense of security?
If you have ever lost your house keys you probably felt a sense of panic and insecurity. The mind almost instantly goes to fear and the worst case scenario and you loose your sense of safety and security momentarily. Many people live their life on default, meaning, that most people are repeating the same unconscious patterns throughout the day. When something gets placed outside that patterning, suddenly you don’t know what to do and panic sets in. The subconscious mind senses instant change and responds with freeze, fight or flight tactics to try and keep you feeling safe.
However, what if instead of going to fear you were to pause and look at what is being reflected? What if the change that is set in motion is a way to wake you out of a pattern that isn’t supportive of your goals and desires? What if by having to change all the locks on your house it is setting the stage for another chapter in life and offering you a new way to walk through the doorway? What if all of this is a call to look at where you are not feeling secure or like you belong.
Life is funny. We are programed to think that life is happening to us instead of for us. Something as simple as loosing keys is seen as just bad luck or life trying to give you the finger and we blame some circumstance when the truth is that there are no coincidences. When we leave things to chance we are no longer in control of our life and we are not holding the keys to our life.
For anyone who looses their keys, I invite you to pause and reflect on how this is showing up in your life. Do you hold the keys to your life? Do you know which keys will open which doors? Is your “house” in need of new locks? Where are you not feeling safe, in control, or powerless? What “keys” are being offered that you need to pay attention to?