Have you ever fumbled with your keys trying to get them into a lock and you couldn’t remember what the key even looked like? You just had to try them all and hope for the best. Once, I couldn’t get into my car. I hit the button on my keyring on my automatic opener, but nothing. I tried it a few more times because I thought there was no way the battery could be dead. Still it did nothing. Finally, I tried the key, and it didn’t even work. There was a pretty big reason for this. The car wasn’t mine. It was identical to mine, but it belonged to my friend that had one the same make and model, and I was trying to let myself into hers. Of course the key didn’t work, the lock wasn’t mine.
I spent years knocking on the door of a heart who never answered, and I ended up making my home on the welcome mat. I was just optimistic enough to think that one day I’d finally pick the lock, hit the right combination, or be handed the key outright and I would finally see what made this person tick. Some days I thought I was almost inside. I had moments where I felt like I saw beyond the facade and beyond the day to day into something more real. Conversations that were surface level ruled most days. We discussed what we ate for lunch, what movie was being released on Netflix, who in the family was having issues, and then we’d hit this wall. We couldn’t break through it, and I may never know why.
Trusting people is hard work. Letting them see the you that most people don’t get to see isn’t easy because in order for this to happen you have to be vulnerable. No one likes being vulnerable. It carries risk, and the risk is rejection with a side of humiliation and a touch of unbearable pain. So when someone lets you in, you should proceed with caution as though you are somewhere special. Someone letting you in can happen in a matter of hours if you find someone that is a rare soul mate. It can happen in days, months, or even years. But there is a sad truth that some may never find out. You can spend years with someone and never be handed the keys to their heart. Their fences and walls may be up for even those most close to them, and maybe they just aren’t willing to risk it.
We lock our hearts up tight to protect us. We let some in and others seem to have their own roadmap once they get inside our hearts. But what I discovered is there’s always the chance that someone is going to change the locks on you. What happens then? I had to change my perspective on this quite a bit. What if there is a big reason you can’t get in? What if this lock wasn’t your lock to begin with? What if the only way into the hearts with the highest walls made of the toughest brick and stucco was from the inside out? What if all those dead bolts they put up to keep people out of their innermost thoughts and feelings have to be unlocked willingly? You have to deal with a reality that will make you pretty uncomfortable. You were never meant to get in. They didn’t choose to let you in, and they have their own reasons for that. That lock isn’t yours to open. Yes, it’s a hurtful thought, but either it’s yours and it won’t open from the outside, or it’s just not yours in the first place.
You can’t make someone let you in. But when they do, make it count. No one can live on a welcome mat forever.