blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Open the Doors

“The best time to open the door to the cages we’ve built around ourselves is now.  Live your dreams while you are able.”  Lisa Dorenfest

from Eric/ka at https://behindthesceneryphoto.com/
french doors

Before you panic, I’m not advocating opening up borders and businesses in the midst of a pandemic. Far from it, I err on the side of caution and conservatism when it comes to nasty bacteria and viruses.

Rather, I am referring to opening the door to our minds and our lives, which often stays closed, to the present moment.

The Present Moment

When old friends get together, they reminisce about the past. Older people love to chat about those heady, carefree days of youth. Their stories are tinged with regret. Regret that they didn’t do more, see more, love more.

Why is it we close our mind to really seeing the world around us, as each moment passes by, a moment that we will never be able to fully experience again? Many of us appear to prefer our own thoughts and stick with thinking that revolves around plans, or worries, for the future, and regrets or reminisces about the past.

When our minds are fixed in the mental construct that is the past or the future, we are more likely to create anxiety within ourselves.

Our Public Persona

Most of us have secrets and thoughts we stash away in the far recesses of our mind. We rarely show our complete self to another person. Presumably for fear of rejection. Because rejection hurts. So we present a public face and persona to the world and our private self is only for the movie that is running in our own minds.

It seems we now prefer to see what everyone else is doing, via the medium of a glass screen than to be involved in life, with all our senses.

Cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world that occurs when we’re afraid it will hurt us or let us down. Cynics always say “no.”

If we always say no, we miss out on learning and growing. Saying yes leads to firsthand experience and knowledge. “Yes” is for strong, open-minded people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”

Marc and Angel
proverb

Why are we ignoring the immediate world around us?

Could we be preferencing cynicism over wisdom?

As Marc and Angel state,

“Accepting some level of risk in life is important. Everything you want to do takes daily practice.

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to remember years from now.

Make decisions and act on them. Make mistakes, fail and try again.”

front door

The door is open.

65 thoughts on “Open the Doors”

      1. The door is opened. With lovely though of starting line. I like.Lovely write to life for youth & old age reminder. Remembered past & Future living life.Every moment reminder in story. I am so glad.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The sayings are useful for us to remember no matter our age, Rajkkhoja. Often bloggers like us reflect on our past when we write blog posts, but in writing we are also taking advantage of opening the door to acting in the present moment, in thought (thinking of the words to add to the post) and deed (typing the posts).

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful way you analysed cynics and cynicism.

    True what you stressed we are wasting our time by worrying too much ourselves and in the process we hide ourselves of our feelings rather than enjoying things around us as it happens.

    We are all experts in showing our masked face to the world for the fear of ourselves getting exposed,but as you rightly put it we see others via medium of glass.

    Realisation comes too late and sadly we will be busy staring at the empty space.

    Your post is timely in these days of Corona.

    It’s also an opportunity to ponder as your blog title is apt.

    Thank you so much.An eye opener indeed.🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have enough secrets and dirty thoughts for a season of daytime or prime time drama – or a really bad adult film. I’ve been forced to move forward in the wake of my mother’s death. I haven’t been so depressed recently over her passing as I have been about whether or not I could have been a better son to my both of my parents. In my worst moments, I’ve honestly considered giving up – but that would be too easy.

    I’ve come to realize this period is the worst I’ve ever endured in my life to date. I recently told a friend that I’d always managed to make it through rough times in the past. “You’re a survivor,” he responded. I never considered that, but I suppose so.

    I have so many stories I want to write, plus I still have a book on my paternal family history that my father and I were working on at the time of his death. If it’s the last thing I do, I will finish that book.

    Thus, while I can’t say if doors are opening up for me, I will compel some to open to continue my life and make things better.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You have a fantastic pro-active attitude to processing grief and moving forward with your life, Alejandro. And can I pass on my deepest symathies. I didn’t realize your Mum had passed away. Did I miss something on your blog? I did know that you had brought her home and were caring for her, but I thought that she was relatively well otherwise. I am sorry. It is difficult when there is noone to share the grieving with, who knows what you are going through. Even though I have one sibling, I have not seen him for about 35 years (his choice) so when my parents pass it will be very difficult. Not only is it a reminder of mortality that we all face, the death of parents is like cutting the umbilical cord all over again. We have to learn to be a person who no longer has such close relatives, whether we get along or don’t. I am glad to hear that you are working on a book. I think that can only help to work through emotions and build the feeling of extended family over time.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wholeheartedly agree. It has given us a different perspective on life. One that no book or learning course could ever have taught us. To value some things in life that are taken for granted. A hug, a gathering of friends, freedom of movement. Such things are precious and I feel sure we will value them more and more the longer this pandemic continues. More than this, if we become locked into lamenting the lockdown restrictions we are wishing more discontent upon ourselves. I imagine a lot of people are struggling with mental health issues this year.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh how one learns by making mistakes ! To find out that does not hurt at all but so often helps the cause ! I remember a seminal moment: The first ‘New Australian’ girl in my high school somewhat unwillingly I became the Head’s ‘pet project’ ! Could not ‘hide away’ however hard I tried !!! Our biology teacher on holiday in Europe sent the School a letter – guess who was asked, still poor English and all, to read it out to the whole school at assembly !! It contained the word ‘Antipodes’ which I promptly pronounced ‘Antipouds’ . . .well, ‘lodes’ and ‘nodes’ and all ! The laughter could be heard down the street !! Don’t know from where I ‘got the guts’ but after turning around to a grinning Headmistress, I very clearly managed to tell the whole school that English pronunciation was totally illogical . . . . after a gasp, everyone, including the staff,, burst out clapping ! Silly story – not for me . . .’cause I was never afraid of coming out and politely speaking my mind . . . At the moment, on line, I make ‘mistakes’ every time I come on . . . but by asking, by extending conversations I learn daily . . . and hope others reading do too . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have given us a fantastic example of not only standing up for yourself, but remaining unfazed by making a public mistake. Brave you to speak your mind in front of a school audience, which any teen will tell you is the harshest critics around. Your attitude in handling the situation was key. A less confident person may not have spoken up and remembered that time as an embarrassing moment that zapped their confidence. But you managed to turn it around with a logical criticism of language, which I must say is true! Even though English is fast becoming the global language, there are so many rules and more exceptions to the rules. That must be so difficult to learn! I would have loved to have had the opportunity to mix with other cultures at high school. What experiences and new ideas you would have brought!
      More important than this is that it sounds like you have become a life long learner! That is a great way to progress through life.

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      1. Sometimes you win the lottery of life when you are born : I was the only child of a military lawyer father who was an utter feminist even back them. His mantra was “women can do everything men can = they often do it better’ ! , There was not a day he did not teach . . . Yes, I am still studying . . . much more enthusiastic now than at the other end of my life . . . best . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I tend not to wallow in the past. We only have the present moment and the future is uncertain from moment to moment so it’s best not to go there either. I can dress up the past in any clothes I like but what do I want it to wear? I’ve decided I have no regrets. Everything has turned out just the way it should and each morning I get to chose how I will flow with the day. I can make plans but the day always has it’s own way so I adjust myself rather than try to adjust the day. Moment by moment, I look for the joy in each. It’s there. We hit all the green lights going down to get our cars washed and detailed before my son and his S.O. come for their visit. (barring any unforeseen circumstances) I’ve told him we are ready if he makes it, if he doesn’t, we will adjust until he can. I’m getting lots done in the meantime. Good food for thought, Amanda.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is as simple and as complex as that. Adjusting to the day, not wallowing in what could have been. Getting green lights, or all red, it matters not, does it, except for our own attitude towards that happening!
      I have a question though Marlene – what is a S.O.?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Significant other. As in unmarried partners. She was my ex-DIL and they have been living together for at least 4 years now and function as a married couple without the second set of paper work. They treat each other better than when married so that’s a plus. I never know how to introduce her. They will never marry again so she will be his S.O. It was a common term for many years.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So true! We’re often mired in our past and future that we forget all our power lies in the present. That decision to eat healthy, that choice between going to the gym and staying on the couch, those chores you’ve been meaning to do—the only place they can happen is in the now, so it’d do you good to ask yourself what’s the best thing you can do at any given moment.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks for swinging back and leaving such a lovely comment with meaningful examples of making the most of being present in the moment. Even though we are discussing this over a screen, it is great that we have this awareness of not getting lost in the past, or mired in the past or future, as you put it. We only even have this single ever transient moment before the future becomes the past! Is this something you have always understood or just happened across?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda, What a nice surprise and I am very touched that you gave me a shout out. Lisa’s quote resonated with me long after I first read her comment. Lisa is a wise woman. I know you are also a fan of quotes and I found Houdini’s quote applicable “My mind is the key that sets me free.”

    The “Notice” sign made me smile. You bring up a great point on “the present moment.” I agree how many of us are thinking about the past or the future. Not a healthy place to live our lives 100% of the time.

    I am also a huge fan of Marc and Angel. I especially like “don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” I love the photos you added to help share the story. A great post, Amanda, with positive messages to help us more forward. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Eric/ka.
      The power that lies within our own mind is elucidated well in Houdini’s comment, Eric/ka. It is up to us to harness it.
      Thanks for mentioning that. I haven’t heard that quote before! And I do like the inspiration I get from reading wise words!
      I also found Lisa’s quote moving and definitely worthy of a repeat here. If the cage we have built to protect us does not allow us to stretch and move, we are in a sense, beginning to wither and stiffen. No matter our age, we need challenges, joys, problems (preferably smaller ones) and goals to remain alive in body, spirit and mind.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I am a person that doesn’t see the Covid pandemic as all negative. There are some real positives we can draw from it and it really is an opportunity for us to learn to think differently about the world, the workplace, hygiene practices and our lives themselves. Of course, that doesn’t mean I dismiss the terrible events and all the deaths that have occurred, I don’t. I wish they did not happen, but it would be worse to only see everything that is wrong and not the good stuff that is happening.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I read this comment with a certain amount of relief for I too catch myself thinking about the positive aspects of this pandemic on my life. It’s just that to voice it too loudly would seem insensitive to all those who are suffering because of it.

            I haven’t had this kind of opportunity since my youth to indulge in such large swaths of time to simply ‘be’ rather than ‘do’. While it’s true that I’ve used this time to ‘do’ – painting, gardening, etc – it’s been with this acute sense of being anchored here and now. I quite like it here 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes we do need to open our minds.. But I think the world must find solutions to live with it and not close borders. We cannot survive without money.. The poorer countries rely on tourism.. I like to go in to work.. I don’t want to work frm home.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the are pros and cons to working from home. Good for the environment good for people who have to travel a long way not so good for the social aspect. There is some evidence working from home can even decrease your gut and mental health through isolation. Quarantine has always been the way to handle deadly illness for which there is no treatment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And my door has been nudged even wider open now! 😀 Amanda, a wonderful and inspiring post that touches me deeply! How true it is that we become locked into our own minds, fear keeping the door closed, forgetting our dreams in the process. We are so much stronger that this if we will just ease open the door and give the possibilities a chance. I love your quotes along the way and am saving them in folder … I like to collect gems of wisdom! Ahh … Erica has become a dear friend here in WP and how lovely she has touched your heart too. Her open and genuine personality shines through!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Amanda! Xx 😀❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad you liked this take on the world. Everything you said was so true. Give possibilities a chance!
      Isn’t it great that wonderful bloggers like yourself and Eric/ka connect on this forum. I notice a few names repeatedly coming up when I visit blogs. Like minds attract, I guess.
      I wish you a fantastic weekend too, Annika. With some gorgeous northern sunshine!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oftentimes it’s because we get absorbed in our daily routines that we forget about the the rest of the world around us. It’s a human thing. And it’s nice to get reminded of what else lies beyond our everyday comings and goings. Enjoy your day, Amanda.
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I read your post with great interest, Amanda (as I do with many of your posts).

    I have not gone to any school reunions or gatherings of “old friends” for a long long time. The few I attended ages ago were like you described, reminiscing about the past. The whole time. Which left me spent and dissatisfied.

    The next section: the public persona got me thinking. I am rather reclusive these days, but my public persona previously was more gregarious & outgoing that I actually felt. Food for thought.

    I take one of the parting quotes with me: “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Ju-Lyn. It is always a delight to read your beautiful comments on my blog, (and indeed your blog too). I do like reading Marc and Angel as I find them so very inspirational and I take a lot from what they wrote even though it is not anything new. Have you come across them?
      The quote you mention does encourage being pro-active. It brings forth the message, If it is to be, it is up to me and a great antidote to procrastination.
      My former boss’s mantra was, “Always looking forward, never backwards.” She wasn’t a great leader, but that mantra was something positive I took away, from the time working with her. All facets of the same underlying message, I think.

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      1. You have a wonderful ability to see the best in people, and to look at the bright side of things, Amanda!

        I have not read Marc & Angel – I will certainly look them up further as Iso much that you highlighted resonates with me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I still need more practise to convert the theory of looking on the bright side, but it comes easier with more and more practice, Ju-Lyn.
          I think you will find Marc and Angel very inspiration. They explain things so well!

          Like

  11. First time visiting here.
    I loved the “Open The Doors” Title.
    I hate to admit but the doors around me have shut tightly.Trying to keep the pain and hurt outside.
    All I have really done is delay the inevitable.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sarah, Thanks ever so much for coming over to StPA. It sounds like you are fighting so very hard to protect yourself and get by. You must be exhausted. Take one small step at a time and reminder to breathe.
      The doors may be shut tight and we all need to do this sometimes, but there is still light coming in through the windows. I found it helped me to direct my focus there. Hugs from Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Fighting hard is good, but I have learnt that sometimes I have to also relax and let things go. If it is panicky emotions, fighting too hard seems to make that emotion get stronger. Sending more hugs from Down under in Australia.

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  12. Wow. I am impressed that you have been able to stay so grounded in the present, Joanne amidst the choas. Especially from what I hear from some other American friends who seem quite fearful. The simple things on life are to be cherished and are often more therapeutic than we give them credit for. I had to bring forward my retirement because of the pandemic. Are you formally retired too or is it due to Covid that you have time to be?

    Like

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