Doors! They open. They close. People hold them. People slam them. They can be slow, creek and jam, or the opposite – swing open easily, practically coming off the hinges. Some even have a button that once pushed opens the door like “open sesame” magic.
Doors have become a big part of my life and one of my biggest obstacles since this whole knee debacle – they are super difficult to work when you have both hands occupied with crutches!
The most intriguing part about it has been the way people respond to my difficulty with doors. The overwhelming majority will rush to my aid. I’ve had people see me approach a door from inside a store and literally stop in their tracks from their busy day and dash from outside to hold it. It’s rare that someone does nothing.
It got me thinking about how we open or close doors for others, and ourselves in the gain or missed opportunity sense.
It was Alexander Graham Bell who said, “When one door closes another door opens.” But that’s actually not the whole quote. He went on to say, “…but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Apparently he faced a lot of closed doors on his way to inventing the telephone. Can you imagine if he let those stop him? Not only might we all be without smart phones (OK, maybe that would be a good thing?), but the extensive work he did for the deaf would have gone unrealized. It was Bell who recommended to Helen Keller’s parents that they hire her a teacher, ultimately leading to them finding Anne Sullivan who unlocked the world for Keller.
But I digress. The point is, it’s easy to get stuck in the past, and can be scary to step through the door of opportunity to the unknown.
One of the hardest times in life is when we’re stuck in the in between. I’ve had many conversations with clients who give every excuse to stay where they are, whether it in a “comfortable” job, relationship or other life situation. They say things like “when I lose weight, I’ll date.” Or “I need to have my resume/LinkedIn/spiel perfect before I have that networking meeting.” Or complain about their partner and let years go by without working to mend key issues or just move on.
Shutting that old door and opening a new one can be frightening for sure. There’s a song that says “one sun sets and another rises.” What a beautiful way to look at it! Maybe that’s why I love sunsets so much.
A closed door/failure is a learning experience. Think about what likely happened when you started to walk. You probably fell down hundreds of times before you ultimately took that first confident step. And then you were off, giving your parents a good chase ever since!
It took courage and keenness to get there, but once it happened it opened up a whole new world to you. You probably didn’t look back with negativity at all the time you spent crawling, holding on or knocking your head on things leading up to the big moment.
Certainly, we were encouraged to take that first step, so consider this your nudge to pursue unlocking that new door. Which one have you left ajar that is holding you back? What will it take for you to accept whatever it was, leave it behind and shut that door for good? How can you accept it without judgment or comparison, and edge that new door open?
I have a few doors swinging around on me right now, and I’m not going to force them. I’ll just acknowledge them and try to pick the right one for now. And if I don’t, well then I’m sure that path will lead me somewhere interesting. It’s a step right?
So imagine there’s a door with a great opportunity everywhere you look. Now step through one. What does it look and feel like? Does it put you on a “good for right now,” “where I want to go,” or “stuck in the past” journey? C’mon, pick one that steers you forward and turn the knob.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
.S. Literally as I was posting this blog, a door opened for me. I love how the universe works!