Walls & Keys

“Her heart is a secret garden and the walls are very high.” – Author Unknown

It’s a tragedy, really. The way we build walls we ourselves cannot get past. How we would rather walk the predictable plateau of emptiness than dare ride the valley’s highs and lows; how we won’t even hope to soak the sun’s warm radiance at the peaks if it involves the slightest risk of plunging in the shadows’ cold darkness at the dips. How we burn bridges and mourn at the ashes. The way we daily put on our masks and expect the world to understand and accept who we truly are.

“Having perfected our disguise, we spend the rest of our lives searching for someone we don’t fool.” ― Robert Brault

They say opening your heart is always difficult, always a risk because “love and rejection get in the same way.” But is there a way to live—and to live fully—without having to open your heart to anything, anything at all?

I believe there is none.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Ever since I took the other road at my life’s turning point, I had made my major decisions on the basis of how I felt rather than on what I thought. I live through life feeling more now, and thinking less. This has made my life richer and more meaningful, though not necessarily easier or farther from pain.

I now live by this philosophy: For the big things—where you are steering your life, what dreams you are to pursue, what the bigger picture is to look like—listen to your heart. For the finer details—the daily struggles, the torment of all the little things you think are insignificant but need to do anyway, the questions of whether you should work today or slack off—keep the firm command of your head over the whines of your heart. It makes all the difference.

And courage. I value courage now more than ever. In the words of Cheryl Strayed, “Be brave enough to break your own heart.” It will hurt very badly at first, but only at first. Time, if not capable of healing it entirely, can at least make the brokenness less painful as it goes by. In breaking your own heart instead of letting it grind down out of the wear and tear it has to endure every day, at least you now get to commence the healing process, start reassembling the pieces you at least know to where shattered.

“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey. But, sorrow is at least an arriving.” — Alan Paton

We each have times in our lives when though we cannot get past the walls we put up, we hand someone the key so they can get in through the door. Yes, there is a goddamn door built into the wall. They jam the key on the front door. It doesn’t open, and they think we tricked them into false hope that maybe they can get past the walls because for goodness sake, we just gave them a key. But the door doesn’t open. Maybe they try scaling the walls, then? Nah, they are setting themselves up for failure. Again, the walls are too high, for anyone, anyone at all.

“Pulling the drawbridge up again, Count?”

“Until the siege is lifted,” he replied.

— Raymond Khoury, The Sanctuary

So then of course we are still left inside our own walls.

They see we gave them the key, and they think we made a fool out of them for giving them the wrong one. They stop trying.

They leave without knowing one other important, important thing.

The key was for the back door.

· • ♠ • · 

“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, ‘This is the problem I want to have.’

I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.

Let our scars fall in love.”

— Galway Kinnell

· · • · ·

About the Author •

19 thoughts on “Walls & Keys

    • Really?? I didn’t think anyone was gonna relate to this as much because it’s kinda cryptic, hehe. I often turn to metaphors when expressing deep emotions. Thank YOU for understanding and “getting” it. Getting understood by someone even when you thought no one can is one of the best feelings in the world. 🙂

      Thank you for dropping by my page; always a pleasure having you around. Will be dropping by your page too! 🙂


      • I totally get it! It’s on my mind all of the time and likely for several reasons. Brene Brown does a lot of work around love and vulnerability. I also just started guest posting for a dear blogger friend. The title of the series is The Braveheart Chronicles. It’s all about being courageous and brave in life and love and obstacles. Right there with you! Keep sending your message–I know it will ring true to more people than just me 🙂


      • I’ve heard a TED talk by Brene Brown on vulnerability; it was great! Can you give me a link to one of your posts in The Braveheart Chronicles? I’d love to read it. 🙂

        Thank you, thank you for the encouragement and for reminding me that I am getting heard. 🙂


      • Thanks for your interest in the Braveheart Chronicles. In fact, when I read your words I thought how perfectly they would fit into our message. We may need to circle back to you and see if you’d like to be our guest host and reblog this! No hurry to decide or respond. Take a look at the site and feel and see. Christy has been an awesome mentor to me–despite our different backgrounds, we’ve come to the same fun and supportive space together. You can read more here: http://runningonsober.com/2014/02/18/courageous-vs-brave-the-braveheart-chronicles-by-michelle-terry/
        Back to Brene’…I’ve listened to all of her CDs and read her books. Sometimes it feels like plagiarism because I’ve so embraced everything she teaches about vulnerability. Thank you again for engaging with me this morning. Your words have been a blessing!


    • [I am replying to the previous thread here because we’ve maxed out the 5 levels of the thread. Turns out your misspell was actually a blessing in disguise 😀 ]

      Sure, I’m excited to read up more on The Braveheart Chronicles! But I’ll have to check out the site and savor your words tomorrow; it is late night on my side of the globe and I really do need to hit the sack now. Hehe! Thank you as well for reading my work and sharing your thoughts here. Have a great day! 🙂


    • Thank you, Sameera! I appreciate you letting me know the post made sense to you. It makes me smile that though we may not know each other personally, through our words, we can still connect with and uplift each other. 🙂


    • Thank you! I’m glad you found it motivating somehow. Looking back at the past can also be good sometimes, especially when we reminisce the good times we’ve had or the fond memories we treasure. But dwelling on it, on our regrets and the could’ve-beens, can only make us miserable.

      Thanks for dropping by my page! 🙂


  1. It reminds me of a line-

    Fears the mortar and experiences the brick
    Making walls and rooms,
    And doors of solitude slammed shut.
    I came, I had no key, I had no way into you,
    Except the innocence of friendship offered,
    And walls became wax, and love became heat,
    And melted them before us.


  2. “They leave without knowing one other important, important thing.
    The key was for the back door.”

    there is at least one guy i have loved so much, where i just want to ask myself, how can anyone be so stupid?! i can’t be the one confessing first, right? haha ^^’

    but looking back, i am glad things turned out how they did.

    everything you said is true. i am sad i couldn’t get closer to you in college.


    • Haha, we have more things in common than we thought! I hope I could also someday say that I’m glad things turned out the way they did…but as of now “glad” doesn’t quite fit it for me; I am just putting one foot in front of the other, and waiting in patience for God’s plans to unfold. 🙂

      I think we could’ve related at a deeper level in college, had we talked and interacted more. But though we cannot bring the past back, there’s still the now and the infinite future to be closer friends than we were before! 😀

      P.S. Thank you for reading and liking so many of my posts! I am looking forward to reading more of your musings too, when the sembreak rolls around! 🙂


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