Doors Close, Doors Open

Photo by Ronald Cuyan on Unsplash

July 16, 2012

“When one door closes, another opens.” I’ve had to remind myself of that a lot lately. I’ve been sending out a lot of resumes, earnestly trying to improve my financial situation and at the same time, not wallow in self-pity or self-defeat. Money is huge stressor for me; I grew up privileged and never wanting. Yet, I never properly learned how to manage my finances and so my old anxiety around money has reared its head as I’m worried about feeding my kids or helping pay house bills. I’ve had to lean on my sobriety for this particular “character defect.” It’s easy to be self-deprecating as a man who’s not the household breadwinner; it’s easy for my ego to be loud about my having a good education but not a solid job. I’m trying to keep calm and have faith about finding a solid source of income. These stressors — and others which aren’t strictly financial — could’ve more readily knocked me out of my sobriety a few years back.

And yet, they haven’t. I’ve had my slips to be sure, but when speaking with a friend in fellowship the other day, he shared the metaphor of an open door with a twist. A daily inspiration he read noted that we have to allow that previous door to close before the other one can even fully open; before we can walk into that next room of spiritual growth. It’s an apt visual for the myriad details which fall under recovery — family well-being, physical health, financial security, recreation, intimacy — the sum of the aspects of our lives which can now be tended to and made healthier by my sobriety.

The one door has to close — as in closure — before I am committed more fully to moving forward. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes step back into old habits. But with recovery, I for one, can recognize my character defects more readily. So, now I surrender more readily; and can take action more readily and get unstuck from those old patterns. Sometimes, the fear of the unknown and the comfort of familiarity, even unhealthy familiarity, keeps us in that “chamber” between the doors, stultified and unsure. Not fully letting go of the past and hesitant to move toward a brighter, but unknown, future. It’s amazing how comfortable we can become in our addiction and tolerant of our old pain and old ways. But with this work, with this program of recovery, earnestly endeavored, we can step through one door and say good-bye to our unhealthy past with compassion. And we can move forward through the next door, into the next experience, with a steadfastness galvanized by confidence and faith.

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