“As one door is closed in your life a new one opens before you. Pause briefly at this threshold and know that what you are leaving behind is for the best…” M. E. Miro
This quote from a book that I was reflecting on “Open the Door” by Joyce Rupp, challenged me to look deeper into my passions of life. In looking back to the years I was in full-time ministry in the Church, I often think about the many activities, formation sessions and projects that I either participated in or led. As I was reviewing these activities in my life, I thought about who I am now. The changes I hoped for or differences I tried to make happened gradually. I realized that the changes happened because I could leave something behind.
During the time of decision-making, I recognized many times I chose to not carry olds wounds and unloving patterns across the threshold into the future. Because of this, I am different than I was back then. Experiences in life began to resonate more easily. Peace is becoming a regular resident within my life.
My growth did not stop with that experience of leaving behind. Since I have been reflecting on this concept, I‘ve had other closures to encourage my growing. I have little doubt that this process will continue as I age, as I open the door to other challenging life encounters. There will never be an end to closing doors and leaving something behind, just as there will never be an end to moving through the open doorway to greater freedom and peace.
A part of us wants to grow and a part of us resists. The thought of total freedom or peace is attractive, but unlearning rattles the chains of our past. Yet, we cannot move on without being willing to let go. We simply must slip out of our firm grasp on what prevents our growth or moving ahead. Many times we have guilt or regrets, these and anything else that keeps us from discovering and sharing the treasure of our inner goodness must be left behind.
Maria Harris, who was a prolific writer, speaker, and advocate of religious education that reflected her concerns for justice, and the centrality of spirituality, invites us to browse through our learned attitudes and behaviors. Look at who and how we “do” life in the light of doors that may need closing. What do you wish to tear up…give away…remove…plant…create?