“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” ― Coco Chanel
I don’t know much about Coco Chanel except that her perfume #5 is luscious and she created really classy clothes. Evidently, she was also a wise woman.
How much of my life have I spent trying to make doors where there were none? How bloody can my fists get trying to create that door! And how much more serene I feel when I can look at the wall and, instead of wishing for a door, seeing the beauty of the wall and wondering what I could do to adorn it and make it even more beautiful. Or, if I don’t want that wall right now, I could just turn and find a door. How easy is that? And no bloody fists!
How does that translate to everyday life? (That seems to be all I care about these days. I don’t have any desire to engage in conversations that don’t help me figure out how to better live my life – unless, of course, they are just fun and make me smile or laugh! Back to the quote at hand.) What are some walls that I beat on trying to make doors? Just this morning I said to my daughter, “I can’t tell you how frustrating it is being short!” That was immediately after four jar lids fell off of a high shelf and hit me on the head on their way to the floor. My frustration is real and long lived. And no matter how much I complain and moan and groan about it, I am not going to get any taller. All I succeed in doing is making myself more miserable — bloodying my fists! And I am choosing to do it — and I consider myself intelligent, may need to rethink that assessment!
I do it in relationships all of the time. Bob was a quiet man —really quiet. I spent years trying to get him to be a talker. Never worked. That wall was several feet think and all my efforts created were a regular sense of dissatisfaction on my part and probably a sense of frustration (dare I say anger?) on Bob’s part.
Maybe a better strategy would have been to pause, look around, and probably find a door right behind me. The potential for writing was always there for me, but it was never in my view. I only saw the quiet wall.
I see that my challenge for now is to notice when I am beating a wall. After I realize it, I can simply turn around and find my next door and my next adventure. What if it is better than writing? I can’t begin to imagine the wonders in store!