Prising open personal padlocks

“We are chained by our own control. Life is nothing more than finding the key that unlocks every part of our soul.” 

― Shannon L. Alder

From a young age we become accustomed to shutting doors and locking things away to protect and keep them safe. We lock houses and cars and we lock away precious possessions. But that is not all we learn to lock away. As a reflex to social pressure and negative feedback we lock away precious parts of ourselves thus limiting our enjoyment and interaction with life.

I know I have dumbed myself down and hidden away my intelligence because those around me were uncomfortable and confronted by it. Similarly, having gained a position of responsibility in my work; a position that required me to make difficult decisions, lead a large staff, a position that was emotionally fatiguing; I slowly locked away my feminine essence so I could cope in this arena and project a self that was firm and strong, not weak and emotional. Several years later I am desperately trying to reconnect with that side of myself. Where is the key? Which door did I lock that part of myself up behind?

Even when we remember where we left the key and behind which door or into which box we safely locked away our true selves when we reach for those elements of us and try them back on they don’t feel quite right, they don’t fit well. The reunion can be difficult and awkward.

Finding myself at this turning point a myriad of questions flood my mind:

• Is there a safe ground between protecting ourselves and locking our true selves away?
• Are we even aware of the sacred part of ourselves we shut away to protect, hide and keep safe?
• Can we, as a society, save our children, our young men and women from this plight?
• Did I fail my son in this?
• Have I, through my actions, encouraged other young women to project more strongly “socially acceptable” traits over their own personal strengths, talents and gifts?

Witnessing the rising number of workshops, courses and programs designed to help men and women sacredly reconnect with their masculine and feminine essences; I realise I am not alone in my concern. Others too have noticed our modern lifestyle can lead us to develop patterns that contribute to the creation of false identities; that we are whittling away our true essence to cope, manage and perform in an increasingly demanding world of work, business, economics and relationships.

My prayer and hope for our children is that we learn to encourage their inner expansion. That we learn to support them in being their true selves, that we teach them to celebrate their individuality and creativity, their intellect.

My hope and prayer for us is that we begin to unlock the doors, throw open the storage containers and welcome our true essence back into the light. I pray that we learn how to ‘wear’ these parts of ourselves again and enjoy the fullness of who we are; that we take pride in, give voice and a new depth to who we are, that we model for our children how we can be true to ourselves and participate meaningfully in the world.

What precious gems have you hidden away for safe keeping? Are you prepared to bring them back into the light, to reconnect and be more whole, more you?