A note before we begin: This post was written as a part of the Cauldron Blog Project 2015 for the monthly themed post for January, “Doorways”.
A beige-colored door opens, it’s matte silver handle turning silently. All eyes in the waiting room turn to the nurse clad in cerulean scrubs as she calls out a name. The smiling brunette woman next to me rises from her chair and crosses the room with a light, carefree step. On the other side of the nondescript door waits a consultation with a plastic surgeon who will tell her how he restore a more youthful look to her aging visage and how her external self will better align with the youthful soul that resides inside of her. She crosses the threshold confidently, knowing that what awaits her is a desired and welcome outcome. The doorway is merely a barrier between her and what she wants and she disappears behind it with a bounce in her step.
A few minutes later, the door opens again and the same nurse calls my name. I limp stiffly across the waiting room and take a deep slow breath before stepping through the doorway. It is not the same door that the facelift candidate had just passed through. Physically, the door has not changed and there is no palpable difference for those still in the waiting room. Still, it is a different doorway that I pass through and it will take me to a much different place than the previous threshold crosser. It is a doorway beyond which an uncertain future lies. On the other side of that door lies conversations about skin grafts, scar tissue, and minimizing the damage of a necessary but disfiguring upcoming surgery. Someday, I hope to walk through that door again, triumphantly with a curving J-shaped scar on my leg and a clean bill of health.
Doorways are like that… they serve as a boundary between where we are now and where we are going. Each of us goes through a different doorway, even when we pass through the same physical space. They delineate and divide spaces and when we pass through them, we are in a state of transition. Awaiting us on the other side of every door way is a change of some sort in our environment, circumstances or ourselves. There are doors that we pass through gladly, embracing what lays beyond. Others we avoid if we can and enter only if there is no other acceptable alternative. There will also be doorways that are locked to us, through which we may not pass even if we greatly desire to do so. A doorway that has just opened for the passage of another may be suddenly slammed shut and locked when we approach it… or we may find that doors open to us that others are unable to access.
The doorways that we encounter on our spiritual paths are like this as well, be they physical or metaphysical, mundane or magical. These doorways often require more careful consideration than the physical doorways we encounter in our day-to-day lives. While stepping through the doorway into another room or building might sometimes be life-altering, those that we cross in our spiritual seeking nearly always are. Ideally, our spiritual doorways lead us to places and beings that bring positive growth. However, any seeker who has been on their path for more than a few hours can tell you that there is often a large gap between this ideal and reality.
Spiritual doorways may be a source of frustration more often than they are a source of enlightenment. Often we don’t know what lies beyond those doorways and our desire to end our own ignorance may propel us through doorways we may not have otherwise gone. We may cross through a doorway to find that what is contained inside is not what we had imagined it to be from the other side. The doorway that a friend has passed through may lead us to a very different place than they journeyed, possibly to places that we did not wish to go or that cause us to rethink our entire path. We may also find ourselves banging on locked doors, demanding access to the mysteries that are denied to us.
Whatever the circumstance, this is much certain… every doorway leads somewhere different and everyone who steps through that doorway finds themselves on a different journey. We cannot expect to cross the threshold without a change in who we are, what we do, and how we relate to the universe around us. Go ahead… knock if you’re feeling curious, cross the threshold if you’re feeling brave.