Welcome. Please, do come in…

step14I have heard people use the expression that when one door closes a window opens, or something like that, but I like fresh air a lot, and am so anticipating the arrival of spring, and even though my brother-in-law provided me with a magnificent and highly efficient HVAC system when I built my house, I leave windows and doors open all the time throughout as much of the year as possible.  I am fond of the flow of the air, and the flow of the energy of the world around me, and when your doors and windows are always closed and your house is always locked up tight, no new energy can really get in.   Welcome to STEP 14.

I am sure you know people as I do who seldom or never have people into their home…they don’t entertain and they don’t really welcome anybody through the door, and then there are those who crave company and gatherings and can throw together a cocktail party in ten minutes and think nothing of an impromptu dinner party or play dates for their kids, and they just want that energy surrounding them…I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes but what about what we let inside, the REAL INSIDE?  …what we let in our heart, our brain, our soul…what we let get through the walls and barbed wire barricades of our comfort zones…

We don’t KNOW what is going to happen today.  We know it is supposed to snow tonight after 11 o’clock here at the Jersey shore, and we know that on Saturday night before we go to bed we are supposed to turn the clock up an hour, which is supposed to create a longer day…but so what?  …just because we ‘know’ something and have a plan, does not mean that it WILL happen…We might think we know, and we might have something on the calendar that we are supposed to do, and we might have it set as an alarm on our iPhone, and we might have a post-it on our dashboard, but that does not mean that what we think is going to happen today IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  A man I was dear friends with many years ago died in a fire a week ago, and the guest cottage of a dear friend of mine blew up in a gas explosion, and a bill I expected to be $640 this week turned out to be $850…three different events, all totally different from what each of us expected that morning of the event…we can plan and plan and plan and reject everything that does not fall within our plan, and we can claim we know what we are doing and we can do what we think are all the “right” things, and guess what?  OTHER things happen.

I think STEP 14 wants us to just not be closed.  You don’t have to open your door to a man wielding a chainsaw with a hockey mask on his face and fingers made of knives to let him steal all your jewelry and flat screen televisions, but when that image and that fear factor is what you SEE with your closed mind, when you look with your eyes at a black man wearing a hoodie walking in front of your house, in a neighborhood where there is nobody who is black, you immediately have closed  yourself off to the possibility that he might be the best small engine mechanic in your county who just moved to your street and you actually need your lawnmower fixed, but you didn’t wave or say ‘good morning’ as he caught your eye when he walked right in front of you when you got your paper from your driveway…You don’t have to marry the most unattractive woman in the room, but maybe you should talk to her, and not reject her because of your shallowness, closed off to the possibility of even speaking to her because she does not fit your ideal image of who you should be seen beside, because if  all the really pretty skinny ones use words such as “amazeballs” and expressions such as “that’s so sick” and say “like” to connect every three or four words, and they often finish each sentence they utter with “and blah blah blah” and go to the bathroom too many times in an evening to attend to their overly made-up faces, you, the man who loves science, golf, and fishing, missed a chance to have a glorious conversation at the bar with a marine biologist who has a swing like Bubba Watson and the most beautiful green eyes you’ve  seen, if only you had really looked at her and opened your mind and closed your shallowness…

It’s not just who we meet or who we talk to, it can be what we do and what we try…going to the non-fiction section of the library for a change, renting foreign films that you have to read since you are not fluent in Japanese, taking a different road to work, stopping at 7-11 instead of Wawa…these might seem trivial but they might change everything…YOU just don’t know.  You simply CAN’T know anything and have to be open, or at least try sometimes to be open, to whatever wonderfulness might be on the other side of the door…


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