Practices From the Inside Out: Opening Windows and Doors

Practices From the Inside Out: Opening Windows and Doors June 29, 2019

Opening Windows and Doors

I know people who expect other people to open windows and doors for them.

There always seems to be someone else there to get them where they need to go. They are confident someone will be there with an umbrella when it is raining. It is as if they trust someone else has made arrangements for them. Apparently they believe they have people to take care of them.

The people who inspire me help open windows and doors for other people.

Many of us seem to live lives in a long corridor. Some of us are insecure about what might be waiting behind most of the doors in the corridor. We want to make sure we are opening only the right ones. Some of us are in a hurry to get down the hall and do not even see most of the doors. We might perceive the doors in the hall as distractions, keeping us from our important responsibilities.

Some of us become lost and confused about why we are in this corridor at all.

The people who inspire me open windows and doors for themselves. They have courage and curiosity to explore, to discover what is waiting for them. Life is not about waiting for someone else to open windows and doors for us.

The more we explore our own windows and doors, the more we encourage other people to open their own.

We appreciate the value we receive when we become open to what has been hidden. Our curiosity and courage spread to the people around us. Opening our own windows and doors helps transform our lives and our families and our friends. We become people who are opening windows and doors for others.

Opening windows and doors spreads light and fresh air, and we begin to explore.

Opening Windows and Doors for Ourselves

Sometimes our windows and doors get stuck and are a challenge to open.

It may have been a long time since that particular window or this door was opened. Opening stuck windows and doors takes more than merely turning the knob or unlocking it.

We may feel comfortable and safe behind our closed, locked windows and doors. Some of us chose our own doors and windows to keep other people out and protect us. We might need help opening windows and doors for ourselves.

I live in a part of the world where the weather is warm all year long, but I was not born here. One of the best things I remember about growing up where it gets cold was opening the windows in spring. We kept the windows closed and the furnace on for months. It was important to close the door as quickly as we could so we did not let the heat escape.

Each year the day arrived when the weather was warm enough for opening the windows. We exchanged glass storm windows for window screens which allowed the air to flow.

Some people seem to believe spiritual life is like living in perpetual winter. They keep their windows and doors tightly closed and they feel more secure.

My experience of spiritual life is different.

For me, spiritual life is about letting in fresh air and sunlight, exploring and discovering. I experience spiritual life as a breeze blowing through an open window or door.

Opening stuck windows and doors may take some effort. We may need to work our way through layers of paint or overcome resistance. Some of our windows and doors may need to be repaired or replaced.

Each of us can open our own doors and windows.

Opening Each Other’s Windows and Doors

While we may not be able to open someone else’s doors and windows, there are ways we can help.

First, we can be examples who inspire other people to begin opening themselves. As we practice opening our stuck windows and doors, other people will notice and pay attention. Our allowing spiritual life to flow through us and our exploration can encourage other people to join us.

We can also help other people as we struggle to open our windows and doors together. Some people may ask us questions about how we decided to open our windows and we can respond honestly. We do not need to see ourselves as expert window openers to be able to help other people.

There are challenges to opening our doors and windows, especially after a long winter. We do not need to be perfect to encourage other people. We learn from our mistakes, and sharing them can help other people learn from them as well.

I am confident, even with our challenges, spiritual life is more about opening our windows than about keeping them closed. Opening our doors allows us to step out and explore.

We Practice Opening Windows and Doors

Our practice of opening doors and windows gives us opportunities to explore.

We experience meeting our challenges and the fresh air of spiritual life breathing into us. More and more windows and doors present themselves to us for opening.

Each door or window is a portal to new worlds. We stand at the threshold or look through the window and see new possibilities.

Spiritual life flows in through windows and doors which are already open and fills us. The fresh air draws us out and invites us in new directions.

Each morning we look through a new window or a new door and decide whether we will open it. Spiritual life is a series of doors and windows we choose to open.

Some of us will choose to stay closed in our houses and never discover what spiritual life has waiting for us.

Each opening, each choice, is a step on our spiritual journey. We listen to spiritual life asking us to become more open and we choose.

How will we practice opening windows and doors today?

What will our practice of opening doors and windows allow us to explore this week?

[Image by Nigel_Brown]

Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com, and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.

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