In life, you have probably kept some doors shut on purpose and you’ve had some you’ve never even thought about opening.

Let’s think about what could be lying through doors that are not currently open for you (and this is just a list for you to get your thinking going) - and we’ll start with positive possibilities. Use these to prompt your “upside” thinking.

 

  • More joy
  • More people
  • Certain special people
  • Certain experiences
  • Particular tasks
  • New views of yourself
  • Language(s) - not only to learn but the learning that comes from being exposed to others’ use of language
  • Hobbies
  • Security
  • New or different jobs
  • Responsibilities
  • Events
  • Destinations
  • Commitments
  • Belief systems
  • Groups
  • Trust
  • Health
  • Clothes
  • Foods
  • Relationships
  • Wealth
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Time
  • Change
  • Stability
  • World views
  • What else?

Now what about the possibilities that lie on the other side of doors that are “not so positive?” Just use these to get your own thinking going:

  • Some pain
  • Some foci (in terms of things that you might think about or spend time and energy upon)
  • Certain people
  • Certain relationships
  • World views
  • Some experiences
  • Various tasks
  • Particular views of yourself
  • The use of some kinds of language (which conveys certain thoughts that you want to close off)
  • Activities
  • Disease
  • New or different jobs
  • Responsibilities
  • Events
  • Destinations
  • Fear
  • Commitments
  • Groups
  • Clothes
  • Instability
  • Foods
  • Belief systems
  • Relationships
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Time
  • What else?

As I am sure you can see, some of the words or prompts are on both lists, but not all. It’s worth going through each list (and your own list thinking both “upside” and “downside”). “Belief systems” is an example. Sometimes, there are belief systems or ways of viewing the world that you have never even considered and once you find out more, you realize that there are portions of those beliefs and views that are a match for you and what you want. Thus, if you didn’t open the door to being exposed to other thoughts and beliefs, you would never find this.

Likewise, there are particular world views that you already know, for whatever reason, are completely out of synch with your views and you want no part of those in your life, and you know those are on the other sides of some doors - and may then decide to close or keep the door closed on those.

Can you begin to see that there is not just one giant door that is either open or closed? There are many, many tiny doors that we get to choose to open or close.

For some of you, you can get the same image in mind I got as I was writing this, i.e., the the image of an Advent calendar, which some of you may have seen. For the weeks of Advent, leading up to Christmas, there is a tradition of opening tiny little doors to read a Bible verse, get a special treat, or find a quote or good wish. Life is more like one of these calendars, i.e., there are many doors to either open or close each month, each year… and this goes on throughout our lives - not just during the Advent season.

Flora Whittemore, said, “the doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” We explored that idea related to our decisions and our lives in five sessions (all of which are recorded and available). You are welcome to visit here, where you’ll see them listed.

We’re having a great time with the Staying Positive Society!

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