Peace & Quiet - Close the Door


January 25, 2006

Everyday we face a cacophony of worldly sensory input. We try to receive all the noise, the confusion and assimilate it into our lives as though we should adjust to the level of information the world pours on us. We feel obligated to accommodate the world because we doubt the world waits for us to catch up. Our society creates new medication, new therapies, new coping mechanisms to compensate for the outside world battering down upon us. Cultures once serene and Mayberry-like disappeared amidst the chaos of progress and a bigger-better-faster existence. Surely the reflection we so desperately need cannot originate in the very source that created the madness. Looking to the world for answers to equalize the craziness results in frustration and more anxiety. The wellspring of satisfaction comes from within ourselves and the peace and quiet we seek to rejuvenate our spirits is born internally.

Close the door.

Both literally and figuratively the door represents a flow of communication and interaction. Demands pommel down on us like a hailstorm and we feel we must keep our door open for the elements of life to rain down on us. We scramble to cope with the onslaught of life, bailing ourselves out of one lifeboat after another. We forget we can shut out the world from time to time and retreat into the stillness of our privacy. In order to effectively segregate yourself from the world, you require a safe haven. Your shelter from the storm includes a door that both opens and closes. By opening and closing the door, remember, you control the direction and the amount of the world you allow into your life as well as when and how long the world affects you.

Closing your figurative door presents a bigger challenge, but many of us can shut out the world when we choose. At times, we've sat silent with our thoughts in a crowded airport or subway station, all the while ignoring the jumble of people, noises and activity moving around us. Some of us sit silent in prayer or meditation amidst disasters or even crying babies at a restaurant. Still others can tap into their inner strength during a horror movie or at a sporting event. Your figurative door may be even easier to control than your literal door.

Our life-doors allow sensory input to flow into our lives. Think of all the ways you receive information. The five senses exist as a system for us to experience the world around us. When we receive input about the same thing using more than one sense, we enjoy a greater awareness of it. Your spiritual or cognitive door decides how much and in what sense you choose to absorb an experience. A conscious effort or not, the choice remains yours to make.

Our life-doors allow people to flow into our lives. Everyone in your life serves a purpose to provide you with an opportunity to grow and learn. An open door lets everyone in. A closed door shuts everyone out. Most of us keep our spiritual doors ajar allowing for the wait-and-see uncertainty of relationships. Just as in our false obligation to allow all the world to effect us, we feel obligated to welcome everyone through our spiritual door. To achieve peace and quiet, we must exercise discretion when welcoming others into our precious homes.

Our life-doors allow our thoughts and ideas to flow out from us into the world. When we shut our spiritual doors we give ourselves time to reflect and renew. We conceive solutions and build armament to face the world on the other side of our door. Behind our door, we discover the dust and the clutter of old thoughts as well as the sparkling shine of newly polished ideas and concepts. Peace and quiet allows us to sort out our identity apart from the world so that we can better decide how much of the world we want in our lives.

Your door is entirely of your creation. It can be tall or short, wide or narrow. Your door can be glass or wooden or steel. You can have a screen door or a drawbridge and a moat. It's all up to you. Your peace and quiet depends on the door you imagine and your ability to control it.

Just be sure to oil the hinges!



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