When doors are shut to you, what do you do?
A new graduate not able to get a job after sending out hundreds of applications. No job wants you. Work doors are shut to you.
You’ve a fine person. Great character, funny, interesting. You’ve got all your own teeth, but nobody wants you as a partner. Relationship doors are shut to you.
You’re an artist, you just want an opportunity. Just one chance to shine. Opportunity ain’t listening. So get back to getting your hands dirty. Career doors are shut to you.
These are some examples. There are many more. I don’t know what form the closed door can take in your life. There are so many manifestations of it. Yes it’s a metaphor. But there is something very real about it. The closed door.
You’re knocking, knocking knocking, but nothing stirs within. Silence. You think you can hear a voice saying “shhh…” inside and maybe there a light somewhere that you can see from the window. But no, that door is shut, stays shut. No one’s here, get moving before it starts to look awkward.
I’ve had it in my life, which I why I can write about it. You have to experience it to know what its about. Once I’d taken some gambles with life and work. They didn’t play out well. So to going from a position where several doors were opened to me all full of great potential, I found myself shunned by the doors. It sure is cold outside.
So what to do when the doors are shut. Get depressed? Sure, you could do that. Get angry, frustrated? That will help a little bit, but will ultimately lead to depression. So mostly minuses.
Well, the best bit of advice I can come up with is related to the first Resident Evil game. You’re wondering around this big scary mansion looking for clues, weapons and supplies. And you come across a door but it is locked. So what do you do?
Well, You move on and look for another door that will open. And then you go through that. It’s thats simple. When that happens, you further the story along and later on at some point you will probably find a special key that opens that original door. So later on, you return and open it.
And then a zombie tries to bite your face off.
Perhaps Resident Evil is not the best example. But I think without the zombies, the idea makes sense. In fact it’s probably the only option. To find a new path.
But we get so stuck on one way. We can’t move away. We want to keep banging on that door. Like the bluebottle fly stuck in your room constantly banging and banging itself against the window trying to get out even though all it had to do was fly up a little bit and it would see the window is open and it would be able to escape. But it is too close to the problem. It cannot see the solution. It cannot even contemplate the solution. So it keeps banging and banging, buzzing and buzzing, against the window until you’ve had enough and you take a newspaper to it. Bam!! How Buddhist of me.
Perhaps the fly against the window is a bad example.
Deciding when to move on when doors are shut
I knew a lady. She was a talented classical musician, who sacrificed so much to gain her qualifications at a well renowned musical school in London. She worked multiple waitressing jobs just to pay her tuition fees and grafted so hard. In her spare time, she collaborated with other artists and did free concerts. She was absolutely talented and did this all by herself as she had no support from her family. Just willpower. But the break just did not come. After years of training and public performing, it just didn’t come. She was banging and banging away on that door, until her fists were bloody, until she reached her breakpoint. She was like the like the fly buzzing away at the window. Eventually, she reached her breaking point and went looking for a new door.
She returned to her own country. And then almost immediately her life transformed. She found a great new partner. And instead of giving up her music, it continued. She started to get more acceptance at it. It’s still early in her story. I look forward to hear what’s coming. But going through that new door furthered her story along.
Acceptance and Perspective
So there are two components to adopt when doors are shut. The first is acceptance. That door is shut. And like in Resident Evil, no matter how many clips of ammo you shoot into that door, its not going to open now. It doesn’t mean it won’t ever open. Just not now. So you have to decide to look for another door.
But shouldn’t you keep knocking on a closed door? I’m not talking about giving up your goal and dreams. No, that stays the same. But the path changes. The path may be somewhere else. It may seem to take you further away, but actually it takes you closer. So instead of banging away and feeling frustrated, move on while you still have your energy. You will need that energy for the new door.
Imagine if you fired all of your clips of ammo into that door out of frustration and anger. Damn you door, why don’t you open! You’re just a pixelated invention. I own you….Aghhhh! Then when you finally did give up and look for another door, you’d have no ammo to kill that zombie hiding behind it. Can you hear the sound of the skin being chewed off your face?
The second is perspective. You must have peace and clarity of mind to stop, take a step back and reassess your situation. To look at your options. To find that open part of the window so you don’t end up like that squished fly.
So, when doors are shut. Look for new doors. It means that one part of your life is on hold or even probably finished. That’s life. It’s full of beginnings and endings. Yet life is huge. There are countless opportunities out there. This is the time to look for new doors. And like in the game, there’s usually one or two somewhere around. So look for them. Consider a new path. Open a new door and go through. In a way, this also relates to considering your life script.
That is what I am doing with this blog along with my other writing based projects. Lets see where this door takes me. I apologise for any grotesque imagery I may have used in the writing of this post.