We’ve all had times when a door seemed to slam shut in our faces – a relationship ends, we lose a job, a health crisis arises. In those moments, it’s hard not to lose hope and give up. But there’s an old saying: “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”
Though the path forward may not be clear yet, there are always opportunities waiting if we look for them.
If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s the essence of this idea: Difficult endings and disappointments often precede new beginnings. We just can’t see the open window while still standing at the closed door. With patience, faith and perseverance, a way forward will open up.
Understanding Closed Doors and Open Windows
Closed Doors Can Bring Painful Endings
When a door closes in our lives, whether in relationships, careers, or dreams, it often brings painful endings. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the end of an important goal can leave us feeling devastated.
It’s a natural part of grief to feel shock, anger, sadness, denial and even depression. Allowing ourselves to fully process these difficult emotions is important (Glassdoor, 2022). With faith and time, the intense hurt begins to subside.
Open Windows Represent New Possibilities
Even when circumstances seem bleak, there is always hope. An open window represents new possibilities on the horizon. It reminds us that every ending enables a new beginning. When one path closes, other unexpected doors open in ways we could not have imagined.
Having the courage to peek through those open windows and see the opportunities in front of us takes optimism and vision.
Research shows that those who can see possibilities and potential even amidst adversity experience greater well-being and life satisfaction (Seligman, 2011). They are more resilient in the face of obstacles and persistent in working toward renewed dreams.
With an open window mindset, we start to realize that closed doors weren’t dead ends, but were redirecting us to our higher purpose all along.
We Must Move On From the Closed Door to See the Open Window
In order to see the open windows of possibilities in front of us, we have to emotionally move on from the closed door behind us. This means processing our feelings of grief and loss, so we have space in our hearts to discover the next chapter.
As the saying goes: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” (Keller & Alsdorf, 2012).
Steps we can take to successfully shift from a closed door to open window include:
- Expressing our feelings through writing, music, talking to empathetic friends, support groups, or grief counseling
- Trying new activities unrelated to the closed door to spark inspiration about what we enjoy
- Exploring fresh routines or surrounding ourselves with positive people full of hope
- Considering how our unique gifts and experiences could serve a new purpose
With faith to uplift and time to heal the soul, we slowly gain the strength to walk through newly opened windows. What seemed like an ending, over time reveals itself as a promising new beginning.
Maintaining Perspective When Life Seems Bleak
When facing difficulties, practicing acceptance can help maintain perspective. This involves acknowledging the situation without judgment and letting go of what you cannot control. As the Serenity Prayer goes, consider accepting “the things I cannot change.”
This self-compassion prevents exacerbating struggles by resisting reality. Releasing what’s beyond your power liberates mental energy to consider creative solutions and see opportunities within the challenge.
Retaining Hope and Optimism
Though times seem darkest before the dawn, maintaining hope and optimism illumines the way forward. This light ahead brightens life’s bleak passages. When one door closes, optimists expect another to open, whereas pessimists see only closed doors.
As Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Retaining hope and optimism fuels the persistence and creativity to find open windows.
Reframing How You View Challenges
How one views difficulties shapes one’s experience of them. Rather than resist or resent troubles, mentally reframe them as opportunities for growth. Hardships build strength and resilience while failures instruct. As the old proverb says, “Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
Difficulties cannot withstand the committed heart and mind viewing them as instructive experiences from which lessons and skills may be gained instead of unwelcome burdens and barriers. This mental pivot redirects focus from circumstantial hardship to potential benefits.
Seeing Opportunity in Unexpected Places
When life closes one door, it often opens another. Even when things seem bleak, there are always opportunities around us if we open our eyes to see them. Here are some ways to find hope and possibility even in difficult circumstances:
Look for the Silver Linings
Every cloud has a silver lining, as the saying goes. Even when something bad happens, try to look for the positives that can come from the situation. Did losing your job allow you to spend more time with loved ones? Did a broken engagement free you to find someone more compatible?
There are always bright spots if we make an effort to look.
Consider it a Fresh Start
Major changes in life can feel jarring initially, but they also provide a chance to reboot and start fresh. Getting laid off can give you the push to finally pursue your dream career. The end of a relationship opens the door for meeting someone new.
Look at these shifts as an opportunity to grow and begin a new chapter, rather than mourning what you’ve lost.
Branch Out and Try New Things
When things are shaken up, it jolts us out of our comfort zones. Use it as a chance to experiment with new hobbies, activities and experiences. Take a class, travel somewhere new, learn a language – anything that enriches your life. Stepping outside your routine can open up unforeseen opportunities.
Offer Help to Others
Research shows that helping others boosts your own well-being. When you’re going through challenges yourself, take a break from dwelling on the negatives by offering support to people in need – whether through volunteering, community work or small acts of kindness.
Not only can this lift your spirits, but it expands your social connections which can lead to unexpected prospects.
With an outlook of optimism and openness, we can find hope and possibilities for growth even in the bleakest of situations. When one door closes, there are always more waiting to be opened if we are willing to seek them out.
Moving Forward Through Faith and Perseverance
When life closes one door, it often opens another. Finding that open door requires faith and perseverance. Faith that there are new possibilities ahead, even when we cannot yet see them. And perseverance to keep putting one foot in front of the other until we walk through that next open door.
Studies show that perseverance and tenacity are key factors for success. In a 2014 survey, 94% of entrepreneurs attributed their success to perseverance. Cultivating perseverance empowers us to push past obstacles, learn from failures, and continually seek new solutions.
Faith can fuel perseverance. Believing in better days ahead gives us strength to take the next step. Faith may come from spiritual beliefs or simply confidence that things will improve if we keep trying. Some inspirational quotes on faith and perseverance:
- “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews
- “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle
Taking things one day at a time can make the path forward seem less daunting. Each morning, set a small, achievable goal for the day. Completing it grows perseverance and faith that we can succeed. Small steps stack up over time into great distances traveled.
Practicing gratitude also fuels optimism and resilience. Count blessings already in hand rather than focusing on closed doors. There is always something to appreciate – health, family, nature’s beauty. This mindset shift releases us from the shackles of despair and make space for fresh possibilities.
Hardships tests but also build faith and perseverance. The next open door is just waiting for us to believe in better days ahead and to keep putting one foot in front of the other until we walk through.
When a door closes in your face, it’s hard not to feel defeated, sad or frustrated. But during trying times, we must keep perspective. The closed door likely precedes an open window – even if we can’t yet see where life’s currents may carry us next.
With patience and resilience, we’ll spot opportunities we may have otherwise missed. What feels like an ending today may soon give way to a valuable new beginning.
So next time you’re standing at a closed door wondering why, have faith. Look for the open window because it’s there, just waiting for you to find it. You may not know what life holds next, but the sun will come out tomorrow – and an even brighter future awaits if you persevere.