For some reason they looked different. They felt different. I stared at them, flipping them through my hand, fluttering them through my fingers, trying to figure out what was different and why.
It only took a second, but I milked that second, stretching it into minutes that slowly unfolded, allowing me to become more present with the sensation of the cool metal on my skin, rubbing the smooth edges. For those who know me well, they know how much I enjoy milking things. Ideas, emotions, aha’s, sensations, visions, awarenesses. Milking expands that which is being milked. The magic of milking brought a knowing inside my chest that warmed to my neck and sprouted into a slow grin.
They had an unusual feeling of lightness. There were less of them.
I no longer had one for my mailbox, nor my room. I’d relinquished the one to my house, and the encased leather one to my car…along with the copies and spares I’d kept in a safe place, just in case, and those for mini padlocks and combination locks that had lost their reason for existing long ago, and the old ones to prior houses and who knows what that had lie unused in a junk drawer for years. I’d finally thrown them all in the trashcan…but not before eyeballing them to be certain I wouldn’t regret it later. That seemed so ridiculous now.
All of my things were no longer in a stationary, secure, or stable existence. My possessions and collections of things that I had decided to keep were now in a transitory one, on the way to some new place. I was braving a new adventure I’d never taken before. Soon I would have new places, boxes, toys, and means of transportation, and their shiny new keys would replace the empty spaces on my ring.
But in this moment, all I had were two thin miniature silver ones, to my safe and my suitcase. How tiny they were, not like the others I’d carried and depended on day in and day out, and even trained myself to hold between my index and middle finger, just in case. How odd. These two tiny silver keys suddenly seemed like toys, so insignificant.
And in that moment, I saw through a different window the simplicity of life. A lover of the deep, I was milking this sensation of lightness as rich fodder for the metaphor that my life had provided.
Releasing. Letting Go. Simplifying. Having less. New Adventure. Big Changes. Trusting the universe. Trusting and Valuing myself over anything outside of myself. Rising with the lightness. Liberation. Peace.
And this object of lightness was not only a metaphor, but a double entendre representing a powerful truth.
Keys lock things away securely. Keys hide things from others. Keys shelter ourselves and our loved ones. Keys transport our things. Keys hold our money and valued things. Keys transport us from one place to another. Keys defend us from unexpected attackers. Keys hold our things. Keys turn on our toys and those other things that amuse us. The more keys we have, the bigger we feel. And these are but the functions of these tiny metal objects we hold so dearly.
Keys help us feel Secure. Keys help us feel happiness. Keys help us feel loved. Keys help us feel protected and safe. Keys help us feel informed. Keys help us feel important. Keys help us feel abundant and prosperous. Keys help us feel valued. Keys help separate our things from others’ things. Keys help us feel connected to others. Keys help us feel part of something bigger. The role of keys has indeed grown from a mole hill into a mountain.
How I dream of us focusing on discovering the keys to happiness, health, love, fun, and freedom that don’t require a piece of metal on a key ring. Releasing these precious pieces of metal from my life brought me another step higher in releasing my attachment to the things they unlocked. Well, not all the things. I am a work in progress, of course.
How strange that this tiny object, so common, so taken for granted, so tossed and traded, copied and created, can so insidiously fool us into thinking it connects us with our identify, with who we are, what we have, where we’re going, and how we value ourselves and our net worth.
I could have allowed myself to feel just a little bit unprotected, defenseless, and less than. But the strangeness of not having all those keys on my ring, in my hand, and in my life had a different effect. A revivifying, validating, lightening effect.
There was nothing to lock up. Nothing to protect. Nothing to retrieve. Nothing to secure. Nothing to keep an eye on. Nothing to carry. Nothing to hide. Nothing to lose.
And in that awareness, I saw how truly free I am. I was unlocked. I won’t be needing all those keys where I’m going!
Originally published at medium.com