When I was in middle school I lived with my mom and brother in the sticks in rural Indiana. My brother and I would get off the bus and warily trudge home after a long day at school. One day, I remember getting to our door and realizing that my brother had forgotten the house key. My brother was a hot head, you never knew when The Grenade would explode. We checked for the hidden key--we had forgotten to put it back after the last time he forgot the house key. It wasn’t there. Ugh! So we started circling the house, panicked, checking doors and windows. My brother even scampered up a stairless deck to see if that door was open. Nope. We checked the sliding glass doors in the back of the house. Nope. This house was completely locked down. We kept trying the main door to see if we could ram it open. Shake it open. Pound on it demanding it open, all to no avail.
My mom worked in the city, an hour away, and she never left work unless someone had lost a limb—and The Grenade and I were still fully limbed. We were out of ideas and it would be four hours before she would be home to let us in. The Grenade was fuming. I did my best to soothe him so he wouldn’t pull his pin. He decided to jog down to our neighbor’s house a mile down the road and call our mom from there. She wouldn’t rush home, but maybe she would have an idea we hadn’t thought of.
As The Grenade ran down our driveway I was still frustrated, worried, anxious, terrified of The Grenade and how he liked to torture me when he felt helpless. I continued to push and pull on the door. I sat down on the stoop steps and then got back up and tried it again. Finally I decided that I had a good half an hour before The Grenade returned, so I might as well get some homework done. I pulled out my math and dove into the problems.
I loved balancing equations. It felt like a puzzle. A solvable puzzle. A puzzle that always had a definite answer even if I couldn’t see it or find it at first. After solving a couple equations, I looked up. It was kinda nice doing my homework outside. Nothing bad happening. The weather was fine. I loved the trees and seeing birds and other animals going about their day. The sun felt good. Everything was fine. This wasn’t a problem. This was okay. I was okay. I’ll get inside eventually.
Then I thought about what was inside the house. I had several bowls of cereal that I wanted to eat. I loved pairing my carb over-loading with binging on TV shows like Oprah. I thought, I’m fine where I am, but I’d prefer to eat cereal and watch TV. Then as I sat there I started thinking, or more, feeling what it would be like to open the door. I held my hand out and I could feel it open. It was strange to have that door not open, it was normal for it to open. I could just reach out, without thought or hesitation feeling the door knob and feeling it turn and the door open. It always opened! I sat with my eyes closed and focused on how it would feel. It started to feel so real that I could feel the coolness of the metal of the door knob on my hand. The pressure against my fingers gripping the door knob. I could feel how easy the handle felt as it turned and the door opened, the rush of wind that always happened as inside house air rushed to greet outside air. I could feel moving towards the comfort of the inside of my home. And it felt real. I felt it, like a dream, like a fantasy, like it was happening. And I stood up, turned around, put my hand on the door…and the door opened. It was still locked. The knob never did turn—but the door opened.
I felt this amazing rush of joy, but it didn’t feel like magic because I was at peace with it not opening but preferred when it opened. I ran inside and called my neighbor’s a mile down the street. The Grenade hadn’t reached their house yet. I poured myself the sweetest bowls of sugary cereal, turned on the TV and sat down to celebrate. I could never explain before today what had happened, what had changed so that the door would open.
Now looking back, I realize how influenced I was by other’s moods, words and actions. The Grenade was generally pessimistic and volatile, that’s what I expected from him and it was hard to find my usual well-being when he was around. Once he left, I returned to my usual state of being, which was a general feeling of okay and contentment. I loved the focus that math offered me. I loved how I could soothe myself and realize that I was safe. From this more neutral, easy place, I realized that all things being even, I preferred to be inside eating junk food and watching TV. I didn’t need it. I didn’t demand it. I didn’t focus on the lack of it. Being outside was fine. From this easy space, from these easy feelings and thoughts I could tune into my inner being. The non-physical part of me. The greater part of me that is an extension of God Source. I could receive guidance and support. And that guidance was so clear. I was guided to conjure how being in the house felt. To imagine so well the door opening that I felt like I was experiencing it. To expect the door to open. With all the faith of a mustard seed…and I trusted my gut to follow through on those delightful feelings to their fruition with the door opening. I no longer was opening the door from the energy of lack of door opening. But instead from the advantaged, leveraged position of the door opening feeling and knowing.
I share this because I believe that if you’re reading this, you too can remember a time when you’ve experienced something similar. This didn’t happen to me because I’m special or have magical powers. This happened because at that time I had practiced knowing and loving me and that my normal state of being was contentment. That I felt content because I felt safe and guided and supported—not from those around me, but from within me. We all have access to this. We all have access to the ability to open doors we think are locked.
I also realize that I have practiced my brother as The Grenade since his first explosive temper tantrums. I have always practiced waiting for him to explode, expecting him to explode. I’ve spent decades thinking about when he’s exploded, talking about the mess he creates when he explodes and now I’ve even shared the texture of it in writing for all to read. Could I connect with my inner being and find my peace and contentment without needing the conditions to change? From that space of more neutrality, could I imagine expecting the best from my brother? Could I focus on how it would feel for the loving, peaceful, contended part of me to meet up with the best aspects of him? Could I feel it so much that I could imagine liking being around him? Could I imagine how it would feel to laugh around him? To laugh with him? Could the best of me come out to play with the best of who he is? Could I practice seeing him as an open door instead of practicing locked door energy? Could I imagine the door opening? Imagine the door opening. Imagine the ease of the door opening. Could it be that easy?
May we all find our inner peace and contentment so all doors we desire open through us.