“So often in time it happens, we all live our life in chains,
and we never even know we have the key.”
It’s interesting that the lyrics right before that line provide the insight to understand it –
“Well, I know it wasn’t you who held me down
Heaven knows it wasn’t you who set me free”
Many things in life try to hold us down, to put us in chains and show us no way out; however we always hold the key to release ourselves from whatever it is that may be weighing us down – remorse over a past event or angst over a coming event.
The Eagles song was about a relationship that was ending and it was intended to be a victory song from the point of view of one of the people in that failed relationship. In the song the singer celebrates that he is already over the breakup by stating that he is already gone – gone on with life.
The point is that you don’t even need a key to break the chains that you think are holding you. Someone else didn’t put those chains on you; you put them on yourself and you can throw them off. Maybe it is as simple as declaring victory as the song lyrics state and telling yourself that you are already gone – that you are already over it and you are moving on.
Sometimes throwing off the chains of guilt or self-doubt can be as simple as uttering the simple little prayer that I’ve used many times here – “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” You will be surprised at the immediate feeling that the weight of the chains that you have imposed upon yourself is lifted from your shoulders when you give your chains to God. You will feel free to move on with life.
Perhaps then, you will feel like singing the lyrics that the Eagles used later in the song –
Cause I’m already gone
And I’m feelin’ strong
I will sing this vict’ry song I’m already gone.
You hold the key to your own happiness – use it and get on with life.