When I was in grad school, my family moved into an apartment in South Chicago. When we saw that the door of the apartment had four locks, we wondered why we needed so many. I soon discovered that the benefit was mostly emotional. When we got inside at night, after being worried about whatever, we could shut the door on the world and turn lots of little levers. “Click, click, click.”
I think of that door when I’m listening to people describe how they cope with their fears. They are keeping their hearts behind a door with lots of locks because something out there makes them afraid. If someone tries to get in before they’re invited, especially if that heart has been hurt before, they will hear the “click” of the lock.