Which way does the door swing?

Really! Which way does the door swing? That’s a question that’s been popping up in my head for a very long time. It has to do with choices, realizations, efforts, and careful consideration of how these things affect the path, or paths we take in life. You see, there have been years of my life spent, or a better description might be “wasted”, that I engaged in fruitless efforts to “get somewhere.” I can’t begin to remember, much less recount all the attempts to “get somewhere” in life only to look back and realize how wrong my assumptions about what was required had been.
I have no clear idea why I associate the notion of which way a door swings with “Alice in Wonderland” but I do. Maybe it has to do with all the doors she had to pass through in her quest to catch up with the “White Rabbit.” But that’s a whole nother subject all together. What I’m dealing with here is the realization of how my choices affected the efforts I expended much of my life on. The reality was that early in my life, I was convinced that happiness and joy were totally dependent on my efforts to succeed. My efforts to succeed were completely dependent on my understanding of how much effort should be put into accomplishing the particular goal to make it worthwhile.
Some choices made required much more effort than I was willing to make and so the choices were deemed either bad choices, or choices that were not clearly thought through beforehand. Other choices were given all the effort I could muster for as long as I could sustain the effort. Many were a combination of both. The point of all the choices was to find happiness and happiness was dependent on the relative success of the effort. Success was always measured in dollars and cents. After all that’s the way I had been I had been taught that the world worked.
The door that led to happiness as defined by success just wouldn’t open. I watched as people all around me were opening doors with ease, but try as I may my doors wouldn’t budge. Then one day it suddenly occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I needed help. The result was akin to a child who had been struggling to open a door by herself, and had repeatedly turned down offers of help from Dad, finally saying, “Please show me how to open this door.” Dad simply tells her to stand aside as He reaches for the door knob, turns it and swings the door open with ease. She/I had been trying to open the door the wrong way all along. It opened out, not in. All the pulling and straining to open the door simply required a gentle push.
How many doors had I spent so much time trying to open could have been opened had I just paid attention to which way the door was hinged? At first, I wanted to race back along life’s hallway to see if all those unopened doors could have been opened if I’d only tried to open them in a different direction. But of course this is reality and not a video so there is no rewind button. I could only move on to the next door which beckoned on the other side of the room. Beyond that door was the realization that I was the only person who could define what my happiness would be.
Beyond the next door was my definition of happiness and it was defined by the talent and purpose Dad (read that, God) had assigned to me. When I figured out which way the next door swung, I found myself in a world where my happiness came in knowing what to do with my talent and applying it to my purpose.
It all became so simple when I finally understood that the doors in my life seldom swing the same way the doors of other people swing.

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