“Well I know it wasn’t you who held me down. Heaven knows it wasn’t you who set me free. So often it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key, but me, I’m already gone”…The Eagles.
I’ve heard these lyrics numerous times but for some reason they really struck a chord with me the other day. I started thinking about what these words really mean. Even though the song is relating to someone leaving a relationship where they are not getting the same love in return, or essentially “being put on a shelf”, I started reflecting on how many other things in life we also allow to keep us in chains.
We allow people, relationships, work situations, financial struggles, bad school grades, and many other things to determine our happiness and success, or rather, lack thereof. We think that, if that person had loved us more, then they would have given us more in return for our love. We think that, if this manager had appreciated and noticed our skills more, then they would have promoted us and given us a pay raise by now. We think that, if this bank really wanted our business, then they should have given us that loan to buy a house. We think that, if this college professor really knew their stuff, then they would have seen that our thirty-page report should get an “A”.
We often sit around blaming the other person, situation, etc. for holding us down. We gripe and complain about how dumb they are for not seeing how good we are for them or how smart we are for their business or how skilled we are for their sports team.
We then will be grateful, in other words still giving them the power, that they let us go, or rather “set us free” by breaking up with us, not hiring us, or giving us a bad grade.
We repost Pinterest quote after Facebook quote after Instagram quote about how we feel at multiple times of the day and during different hardships of our lives. Why do we do this? Do we repost all those quotes to convince ourselves that we are free from our chains, that we are still good enough to find happiness within ourselves after being rejected by a significant other, employer or coach? I often do this type of thing myself so please don’t take what I’m saying in defense. We all want happiness, love and success. I do totally understand that.
What I am saying though, is that, just as these Eagles lyrics state, I believe we all need to stop blaming others…that we ourselves do hold the key to unlock these chains from our broken hearts, crushed egos, lack of job promotions, failing bank accounts, and unfinished educational degrees. We just need to find that key hidden inside our naturally weak human hands and hearts. Find it and use it to break those chains free from society’s expectations and failures. You are the key to your success. Your key is there…trust me…I’ve found mine and “I’m already gone”.