Several years ago I gradually started to pay attention; pay attention to the sounds and movement in that tiny room in my heart that was starting to reconstruct, to decorate its walls, and to invite me to enter. This special and sacred room that had always existed from the beginning of Me. A tiny room located within my chest, attached to the centre walls of my heart, towards the back, pressed up against my back body. In this tiny room there has been a small treasure box. A beautiful antique copper coloured treasure box containing a smooth silky teal coloured pillow. A key sitting on top. This treasure box has always held the key to the rest of my life, and I have known that it has always been there, because I am the one who put it there long ago. And I had put it there with intention for safekeeping, with the subconscious wisdom that I was not yet ready to use it. But for 38 years that key has been sitting in that tiny box, on top of a smooth silky teal coloured pillow, waiting for me to pick it up and use it, to finally enter that place that I always knew I would. That place does not have a name, but it requires me to travel into the heart of the world.
I know I was born with that key inside my heart. But then, as I grew from babydom to childhood and into adulthood, and as life happened to me and around me, my heart started to kindly protest. It gave me flashing warning signals, contracted and shook as my mind started to expand and grow. My mind, full from ego, listening to the loud messages of the world, kept telling me that my heart was too messy and too messed up. My creative thoughts and my innate sacred knowledge were no longer practical all of a sudden, and my new world became the “known”. For most of my life I was made to believe I did all the right things. I obeyed most of what my parents and teachers told me to do, became a well respected lawyer, dated men who should have completed me, and hastened to save the world from itself through social justice advocacy, “fighting the good fight”. I was doing all those things that my society told me were meaningful and purposeful, and I truly believed that I should be happy doing these things. Meanwhile, that little room inside my heart realized I had abandoned it for a while, and it started boarding itself up, knowing full well that my heart’s economy was dictating a different path, at least temporarily. And of course, the heart is the most patient of organs. It never screamed at me to stop. It never decided to stop beating in protest. It never shut down. It just sectioned off parts of itself for me to use in the present, and others to save for later, until I was once again ready to acknowledge and live within the entire house of my heart.
More than nine years ago, as my heart was slowly boarding itself up to protect me, my little sister, one of the great loves of my life, died suddenly and quickly, and my gentle, compartmentalized heart could not handle the pressure. All its walls cracked and broke. All the compartments within my heart scattered, the rooms caved in on themselves, and fires had to be put out. It was chaos. For a while that chaos felt almost comfortable, like it was the best state in which to continue on. In a world where nothing made sense, and where everything fell apart, it seemed only natural that my heart would follow suit. But my heart’s sweet little voice deep within my core kept whispering to me that I had to start putting it back together again, telling me to make sure to take care of myself, so that it cold heal properly and fully. So I started a war with my heart, sick of its sweet little voice. I set fire to it multiple times, even shot at it. It burned to the ground over and over again. I thought I would disappear, and I thought my heart had vanished. My mind started screaming at me to sink into the ground, and to ignore everything about my struggling heart.
I almost listened to my mind. After all, it is a loud, metallic, powerful voice. It told me life was hopeless. It told me I was better off dead. It told me to hurt myself. It ordered me to self-destruct. It told me to party and drink excessively instead of going to a yoga class or to sit for meditation. It instructed me not to get out of bed. It led me towards men who did not honour me. It tried to force me to believe I was something and someone that I was not. It told me over and over again that I was in a scary place, and I felt in so many moments that I might go crazy or that I might die an ugly accidental death. But then, and I cannot explain how, when I thought my heart had finally given up on me, I began to magically draw towards me people, experiences, knowledge and insight that began leading me through an adventurous journey.
The journey, initially filled with nothing but uncertainty and self-doubt, led me back towards the core of my heart, and I never even knew that my heart was my destination. My heart was so tired, it had stopped whispering to me, but it was still guiding me gently with true love and a whole lot of faith. On the journey I travelled I encountered an intense amount of darkness, and during all of this there were only glimpses of light. Flashes of lightening, rising suns that suddenly set, light switches that flickered on and off. These were my short-lived visions of the light that lay within the centre of my heart, within that darkened room, in that treasure box, emanating from that key. That simple but magical key that I have now decided I am finally ready to use.
How did my heart lead me back to myself? How did I lead myself back to my heart? It is more mysterious than we could ever imagine. How is it that we find the strength to heal when it seems our bodies and our minds are destroyed beyond measure? Well, the heart is the most patient of organs. And it is the organ of love. Love lives in a strong house.
Today, as I grasp that key that I have finally decided to use, I know there is no need for a map. The key contains within it ancient knowledge and all the coding the universe has provided. It knows where my spirit must go next and which door will lead to the heart of the world.All of us have this beautiful organ of love.
And all of us have this sacred key. We just have to listen to that patient voice inside of us that reminds us they are there, waiting for us to accept them.