Strength Unlocked – The Giving Keys

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April 11, 2013

Strength Unlocked

I bought a silver key stating "Strength" after reading a tweet mentioning this site. At the time, my boyfriend was 308.1 miles away at college, and I wouldn't be seeing him for a few more months. In the beginning, this key was for him. He needed strength to get through the difficulty that military college provided. I planned on giving him this key. Things collapsed fast, and the distance tore us apart. I needed the strength to continue on and get through our initial break up. On and off, our relationship would start and stop again, like a flashing light, and soon I realized that I needed the strength more than he did. We loved each other so much, but distance didn't love us. 

As time passed, I latched onto my key, knowing that it was what was pushing me along. I traveled to Spain, where I realized that I needed strength overseas more than I did in the US. I reconnected with my ex while I was in Spain, and we were further apart than ever. I had strength. I had it all. 

He returned home for Spring Break, and on the same day, I gave up my key. I shouldn't say that I gave up my key, but rather that I lost my key. I placed my key in the pocket of a stranger's jacket identical to mine while I was out with friends. I was horrified. I told my ex about the situation and he was just as upset as I was. 

I don't know why I cried. I don't know why I thought my life was over. I mean, it's just a key, right? Its just a lonely key engraved with a single word. I quit my crying and I quit my suffering. I had my strength, and I embraced every moment of it. During this time apart from my man, I learned so much about myself. I learned that distance does not dictate love, as well as the fact that love is not dictated by distance. My strength was not in the key, but rather within me. I overcame fights and tears to realize that the strength I needed was not the strength he could give me, but rather the strength I could give myself. It was time to let go of the physical reminder, and start paying attention to the real thing. Strength comes from within, and I guess this key is what unlocked it. 

-Lys

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Through the purchase of your Pay It Forward products, The Giving Keys has generated hours of work for people transitioning out of homelessness.