Home | Human Flourishing | Flourishing Relationships | Painfully Close a Door
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | September 2018
We work ourselves through some problems. Other times, we can't fix the issue and must move on. We painfully close a door to the past and look for new opportunities.
Life meanders through the flat planes of existence in unpredictable ways; sometimes desires are thwarted, other times unexpected opportunities arrive. I occasionally hear the almost patronizing retort to disappointment, “It’ll all work out in the end.” When I hear this, it feels like being chastised for sorrow over legitimate troubles.
Often difficulties straighten out on their own; life tends to be survivable. Life has wandered on this planet for millions of years, no matter what their disappointments. But sometimes problems are significant in the present, right now, where we experience them. Maybe a decade or generation down the road my pain may be meaningless, and from a wider perspective it just didn’t matter. But it matters now, to me.
Many obstacles straighten out simply because we purposely work through them. However, sometimes we should abandon the problem and move on. Not all problems can be solved or abandoned, the serious kind, those problems linger.
The “working out part” may be more of a collapse, challenging every fiber of our being. I can’t proclaim that a drug addicted child suffering a violent death is what I would define as a problem “working out.” Bad things happen, defying meaning and explanation and we must learn how to cope and move forward.
Maybe a decade or generation down the road my pain may be meaningless, and from the wider angle it just didn’t matter. But it matters now, to me.
Some Problems Can't Be Solved
Effort, courage, and grit may push us over the stubborn crest to achievement, solving the unsolvable. These noble qualities of actions are often in short supply; however, sometimes, we must utilize a different approach, moving forward sometimes includes taking a few steps back, shutting one door and trying something different.
Shutting doors is not simple. Downright frightening. New doors of opportunity are often obscured; only to appear once we willingly move away from the past, and fumble around in the dark. And then Bam! It hits us, there it is, the golden opportunity.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."
Relationships and Closing Doors
After posting an original version of this article, I received some harsh criticism from one of the readers. While not directly identifying that this article is about relationships, the underlying tone is focused on bad relationships, and sometimes the choice to leave. The reader felt it highly unproductive to even suggest leaving a relationship was the place of an internet author.
In many ways this reader was correct. Individually, I shouldn't encourage anyone to leave a spouse or long time partner. And I never would. It is beyond my position, knowledge or contextual understanding of any individual relationship. However, suggesting, in general, sometimes leaving is a legitimate choice, even at times, it may be the best choice, is within my realm of influence on a psychological information website.
The reasons to leave vary, and the benefits and costs fluctuate with circumstances. Abuse (emotional or physical) being one of the largest factors weighing in on considerations to leave. But sometimes, leaving is necessary to maintain sanity or just to find any normal enjoyment with life. These choices must be made with great care, often involving insight from outside professional sources.
Dangers of Abandoning Ship Too Quickly
However, abandoning ship too quickly leads to sorrows, always second guessing our direction, and dreaming whether or not we should quit. “What if I stayed,” we ask. Unfortunately, those questions can never be answered.
Great achievements bless those who persist; not those who quickly tire. Usually, improving current situations is better than trying something new; but not always. We must painfully close many doors throughout our lives, struggle in the dark, and then victoriously discover a new light we never knew existed.
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