5 things to do when doors are closing…
April 9, 2012
The doors have been closing lately, big doors…and the image my mind always returns to is Maria Von Trap (in The Sound of Music) sighing and say, “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” . I always end up at Maria or Mother Superior, this delights me so.
And a window may be opening, but I keep thinking and saying to the Universe, “Noooo, really, THAT one?”, because it doesn’t look anything like I thought or really what I planned or wanted. There in lies the mystery of my life and the revelation that once again I am not in control of the world or parts of my path…and this is probably a really good thing. Right? or this is what I tell myself.
So on about the 3rd round of doors closing and after prior episodes over the years of freaking out, sucking it up or taking it in stride, I have come up with 5 things you can do if you don’t have The Sound of Music or a Reverend Mother in your life:
1. Let it be. Just let yourself be disappointed, sad, angry…don’t try to fight it. …but if you are one of those that is convinced your life is now over, cut that ‘Let it be’ time in half- literally set the timer because we know you will want to obsess and analyze.
2. Give it over. Often times, these disappointments are too big and exhausting for us to hold in the moment or long term. Find a ritual or someplace/thing to hold your worry, pain, fears, unknown, or the future. After one enormous disappointment (because I happen to be one of those obsessors) a few years ago, I was a total mess…the only thing that got me through was my kitchen altar candle. Every morning I woke up and wrote what I needed held on a tiny piece of paper, put it under the candle and lit it. The wax poured over the stack of papers and my heart. When I pulled them apart months later, I found the same message written about 100 times, I never even realized.
Worry boxes and jars are also great ideas, and releasing things into a body of water also happens to be magic for a tender soul.
3. Return to play. I always forget this step. What got you to the place to want this thing? This joy? Go back to the beginning. The simplicity of play unlocks a certain joy that fuels our hope and drive, and gives us a grounding to move forward. This is why children hold a wisdom and strength we forget as adults. Return to your love in that grown-up way, and if that wasn’t it or you aren’t sure what to do, I suggest these kid things- jumping on a bed, dancing, blow bubbles, swing, have a silly string fight, ride something fast, make simple art.
4. Do something Kind. There is a point where stepping outside of yourself or your situation is a really good thing. Sometimes we forget what is going on all around us, that we aren’t alone, or that there is another story or perspective we may find comfort in. I love anonymous kindness for such times because we can offer someone else the very thing we may need ourselves- and by some kind of magic we get it by doing this. It also helps to connect to do something kind for someone we know, making the face-to-face connection makes life real and clears our vision. If you need ideas, check out www.guerrillagoodness.com, or GG Facebook. Kindness changes everything… everything.
5. Gather the Love. Now is the time to gather the caregivers and believers. Calling in the hope and strength makes space and shares the burden. It invites a tribe of people to love you into a new place and be part of finding windows or opening doors, or even celebrating with you when the moment comes where everything makes sense after all. To all my introverted friends, it may be people in smaller doses or in nature and books, there are many ways to gather the love.
In the words of a very wise Jen Lemen:
Whatever you do, hold on to Hope!
The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord.
Let Hope anchor you in the possibility that is not the end of your story;
that change will bring you to peaceful shores.
Okay, so if you STILL aren’t feeling better and just need a believer, text DOOR CLOSED to me today (from now until 9pm EST tonight 4/9) at (407) 900-KIND and I will text you back a really simple message of HOPE….or forget all that and just go find the The Sound of Music, you can’t go wrong with TSoM, ever.