You’ve probably heard the cliché, ‘when one door closes another opens,’ right? That’s the classic line, said in every difficult moment by some well-meaning older adult just trying to encourage you in your journey. The phrase is uplifting, though, albeit simple. It speaks to the changes, to the shifts, to the ways new opportunities often come in the wake of failed dreams. It shares how even the most painful moments can shift into something beautiful.
When one door closes, truthfully another door does open—and sometimes it opens wide. But this truth isn’t always easy to accept. Sometimes you don’t see the potential of this new path right away because you’re focused on what fell apart. Sometimes you’re too busy looking behind rather than ahead. This is human; we’re all guilty of it.
But the truth about closed doors is that they make us rethink all that’s possible. They make room for new, if we choose to accept the good part of change.
If you look back on your life, you’ve probably faced a lot of closed doors. We all have. You’ve probably walked confidently down a road only to find it was a dead end. Maybe you pursued a job that you thought was perfectly aligned with your career goals only to work under a selfish boss. Or fallen for someone who felt like an answered prayer only to watch him or her walk out of your life.
Closed doors are inevitable sometimes. But we resist them because we want to believe that we can head down a path and never change the trajectory. That if we just do and say all the right things we’ll move smoothly—with nothing to resist us.
Life doesn’t work like that, though. It’s far messier. Life is falling and scraping our knees, it’s loving the wrong person, it’s jumping headfirst into a new situation only to find we don’t belong. Life is chasing opportunities until they fall short, it’s shifting to accommodate new thoughts and people. And it’s learning that as much as we try to make something work or fit, there’s still a chance we’ll end up rethinking everything we thought would be ours.
I don’t know where you are in your journey right now, but I just want you to know that it’s okay to feel lost or frustrated with the way things have turned out.
You were never guaranteed an easy road, and the fact that things are difficult is honestly not a testament to your inadequacy, but to your strength.
The fact that you keep going says more about you than your failures do. The fact that you’re still moving forward, even when your path completely changed reflects your adaptability, not your inability.
You are more than shifting roads, more than closed doors, more than what’s falling or fallen through. You are hands that dust off shoulders; you are a smile that crosses a tired face. And you are feet that walk along new ground with confidence.
The doors will close, yes, but sometimes new ones will open wide. Sometimes in the most unexpected places, you will find truth or the answers you’ve been searching for. Sometimes you will be faced with decisions you never thought you’d have to make. Yet you’ll make them with grace and strength and they’ll teach you things about yourself you never would have known.
And sometimes, the new path you learn to walk along is the path you’re meant to be on. You just had to face a few broken promises, tearful nights, and unanswered prayers to get there.
Featured Image Credit: Andrea Vehige