What’s a hallway?
So you know the saying, “When one door closes, another door opens,” right?
Well back in 2008 I was sitting in the therapists office. I wasn’t much of a fan of therapy, or help in general, but I didn’t know what else to do.
My stepdad had just passed from cancer, which was sudden and rapid (3 months). And, my divorce was just finalized. I felt that everything I knew was falling away, and I didn’t know what to do. My job in corporate marketing felt lifeless, and I resented it because fear around keeping my job had kept me from being by my stepdad’s side when he passed. I knew everything was changing, and I would never be the same. But I didn’t know who I would become.
And that’s when she said it.
The therapist said to me, “You know what they say?”
And I said, “No, what do they say?”
And she said, “When one door closes another door opens… but the hallways sure are a bitch.”
And I laughed. And then I let it sink in. And I really got the concept. I was just in a hallway. Life wasn’t over, nothing was wrong, and it was OK that I felt like shit. Because the hallways are a bitch.
And over the coming weeks I began to visualize that metaphor. I saw myself in a hallway. I saw all the door behind me that had closed around the family structure I used to know. I saw myself closing doors to being ‘little miss perfect’ and ‘people pleaser’ to name just a few. I saw myself there, gathering strength for whatever was next. And I saw the doorway ahead of me begin to peek open. I had no idea what was back there, but I knew it had to do with living a life of purpose.
I didn’t know what to do to get me through that doorway, but I did know I needed to stop looking backward in order to get there. And I began to make decisions on faith. Anything that was aligned with the old way of being was out, and I chose only things that felt like they fit with the new door – again, I had NO IDEA what that would be. I chose to leave my job and found a higher paying job. My new company was acquired, and I chose not to relocate. I chose to go to coaching school. I chose to cash out some of my retirement fund. I made all kinds of choices until my new life emerged.
How many of you have been there?
In the hallway. Waiting. Wondering. Trusting that the new thing will emerge – before you’re too old, before you run out of money, or before everyone thinks you’ve completely lost it.
Yes, I’ve been there. And I’ve been there again.
And I’d like to tell you it gets easier, but it doesn’t. When you know you need to release old behaviors and patterns and starting BEING a different person, it generally involves a lot of sacrifice. And sometimes the sacrifice feels impossible, or too scary. In the beginning it can be sacrificing relationships that no longer serve you. Or patterns that feed your ego. One woman I talked with this week bravely admitted that it wasn’t the money from her job she was afraid to leave, but it was the appreciation she gets there – even though the job drains her.
Later in business, you’ll be called to shift up your business model, and it may involve sacrificing an income stream that you’ve grown accustomed to, putting your faith in your intuition and your ability to replace it with something that better serves you and your clients.
Many times I’ve stared down that hallway. I’m about to take some training that I intuitively know will challenge me to refresh my own business model, and my schedule has started clear in preparation for this transition.
And if you’re in business and you are not refreshing, and putting yourself into a hallway every now and then, you’re probably not growing in a way that really serves your clients. Our world moves quickly, and your intuition knows exactly how to help you keep up with it while moving elegantly through the hallway.
Will you listen? Or will you be too afraid of the “bitch” of it?
In our culture we are quick to make someone wrong if they make change, if they ‘fail,’ or if they appear to not have it all together, or not be working hard enough… you name it. In my first hallway I was terrified to have ‘failed’ at marriage. My marriage lasted a year, and it felt like a very public failure. And that failure set me free.
What if we lived in a world in which we celebrated the hallways? In which when something went “wrong” in our lives, rather than trying to change or fix it, we celebrated, knowing we are growing into who we’re truly meant to be. If you embraced that outlook, what doors would you close, what risk would you take in order to wait for the reward that is truly aligned with the Truth of who you are?
I’d love to hear! Post your comments below.