“The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door”
Crossing that thresold into your uncharted future is an act of great courage and self compassion, and it changes your relationship to life in a fundamental way. It embodies your willingness to employ a new form of risk taking, to consciously choose growth-stimulating, soul-nourishing conflicts, to live through the accompanying anxiety, and to accept your life as open ended and unpredictable. Passing through the door commits you to living in the present in a way you never before have. ~Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft
Have you seen that movie, Sliding Doors? I have to admit that I don’t really remember the plot very well, other than in tandem story lines, Gwyneth Paltrow’s character misses her train by seconds as the doors slide shut in one and in the other she makes it and goes on with her day as planned. Her choices as a result of missing the train and going through a different door alter the course of her life almost beyond recognition. In the movie, at least as I remember it, she doesn’t consciously choose to miss the train of course. But she does and goes through a different door that she normally would have chosen, and we see the chain reaction of events that emerge. It can be a scary thing, a door. An unwanted thing. And it can be life changing.
What if passing through whatever door is right in front of us, or choosing a different one that isn’t quite as clear or that we don’t even know about yet, is essential for our wellbeing and wholeness? We all have doors in our lives – some look inviting and we can’t wait to find out what’s on the other side, some are just standing there open, some seem locked, some are swinging back and forth systematically, some are creaking on their hinges and some seem to slam shut with no warning.
Most of the time (i.e. all of the time) we simply can’t know the outcome of our choices. Even if the plan is completely straight forward, and the path seems crystal clear, life has a way of muddying the waters. We miss the train. Loved ones get sick. Our interests change. We learn something new that rocks our worldview. There’s an earthquake, a fire, or a hurricane. We have to start over. We want to start over. We realize we have to find a way to accept the present. We realize we have to find a way to use our acceptance to create change.
We can see conflict all around us and feel weary in the world. Or we can see chances for our soul to grow in every sorrow or angst-filled nuance that punctuates the days. We can stop blaming the door.
After all, it’s only a door.
Image credit: Miguel Tejada-Flores, Flickr/CC