Opening Doors

Years ago, when I ended my role as a Girl Scout leader in Iowa to move to Kansas, one of the mothers gave me a key chain which said, “Whenever one door closes, another one opens.” I clung to this message and have many times since.

Life is like that. Something ends. Another thing begins. My son will graduate from high school in May. He will begin college in August. One door is closing; the other is opening.

When I divorced my husband three years ago, I felt like I was slamming a huge door shut. Twenty-two years of marriage ended with my signature at the bottom of a legal document. 

I was a bit fearful of causing terrible pain, of being alone, of the financial changes this would represent. At the same time, I believed new doors would be opened. 

A new way of living would be allowed. A new chapter in all our lives would begin. We could make it better than the chapters we had been living. 

Maybe a door or two of yours is closing. Maybe you are changing jobs, becoming a parent, starting a business, moving, dealing with a serious health concern, letting go of a relationship, incorporating a new habit, retiring, or facing some other kind of life transition.

Whatever door is closing, experiencing some fear is natural. We humans resist change because we are not sure what to expect. This can be scary. However, just because something is uncertain or unpredictable, doesn’t make it wrong or bad.

Best-selling author of The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer says, “Each time I follow my deepest desires, fear is there wringing her hands, cautioning me with her litanies of what-ifs. I do not try to counter with reasonable arguments about acceptable risks. I do not pretend to be unafraid. I simply move in the direction I have chosen to go, taking care to do the things I know will help me to keep moving.”

Besides fear, grief often enters when doors are closing. Again, we humans do not typically welcome change. We are usually comfortable keeping with the status quo, even if we wouldn’t describe ourselves as “happy” with our situation.

So facing our fears and managing our grief is part of the process when doors are closing. However, if we can imagine new doors opening, we can begin to feel hopeful about the future. We may be able to see opportunities that will be created by the ending of something else.

In her book, Heart Thoughts: A Treasury of Inner Wisdom, Louise Hay says, “You are standing in the corridor of Life, and behind you so many doors have closed. Ahead of you is an unending corridor of doors – each one opening to a new experience. 

As you move forward, see yourself opening various doors on wonderful experiences that you would like to have. Trust that your inner guide is leading you in ways that are best for you. No matter which door opens or closes, you are always safe. It is only change.”

Remember the old game show, “Let’s Make a Deal?” The host, Monte Hall, would stand with contestants and invite them to choose one of the doors. Behind each door was either a “prize” that was really a joke no one would want or something that felt like an amazing win!

Hall would say, “Do you want Door #1 or Door #2? The choice is yours.”

Our lives are not game shows, and the circumstances we face sometimes not easy, but we do have choices too. 

We won’t always know what is on the other side of a new door after we have closed an old one. What’s on the other side is a mystery. 

However, if we can choose to believe there are wonderful blessings waiting on the other side, we will be brave enough to open it up and walk through. The best really is yet to come. 

© - Cindy D. Whitmer (April 14, 2015)