In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
The opening lyrics from a song called And So It Goes. I have brief recolations of the Billy Joel version, but I have come to know it through a beautiful choral version from the King’s Singers.
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along
We are always stronger than we believe we are. We are equipped with these beautiful, expansive hearts that beat at around 115,000 times a day, without us even having to think about it. That equates to around 1 million barrels of blood in an average lifetime. It regenerates, restores, gives us life and keeps us going.
My heart has been broken, we tend to think that this only happens within romantic relationships but it happens with friendships too. I was around 11 when I discovered what heartbreak felt like for the first time… a friend who I had known since pre-school and her sudden friendship with a girl who would make the rest of my school life miserable.
But maybe these things do make us strong in the long run. Terrifying but wonderful things happen when we are forced to go inside of that room, that sanctuary, in order to begin to heal.
I wasn’t brave enough, not for a long time. I ignored that room, I tried to tell myself that the pumping blood and regenerating cells would help me to forget. But you don’t forget, not really. Not even if the memories are a blur and swathes of time are blacked out by your mind’s self preservation system. Your body remembers, your heart remembers and all the while your inner sanctuary sits empty.
It takes bravery to go into that space. True bravery to sit with those thoughts that you do remember. Sometimes we cannot do it alone, and that is ok. But our inner sanctuary is built just for us. Some can get there through meditation, through silence, through breath. Others find it in the quiet moments before dawn or when walking barefoot in the grass with the trees saying in harmony above. For some, it is safer when accessed at first whilst in a room with a professional, but when you find it it becomes easier to enter over time.
It’ll be different for everyone. But it reminds you of home, of grounding, or where you truly belong. It knows what serves you and it keeps it safe.
Maybe it’s a room, maybe it’s instinct.
Maybe it’s instinct, maybe it’s self parenting.
Maybe it’s self parenting, maybe it’s love.
But whatever it is, it’s a safe space. A sanctuary.
Week 1, day 3: Sanctuary