We've all experienced an open door in our lives -- an invitation into someone else's life.
Invited into someone's car for a ride -- a shared experience.
Invited into people's homes for a warm meal -- shared rest and reflection.
Invited into a new domain of work -- new opportunity.
These invitations into special realms carry with them a responsibility to respect what has been shared with us. Whoever opened the door to us is deciding to trust us; will we leverage the situation to our benefit (use them) or will we work to prove that they made the right decision?
A few notes on letting people in and closing doors, which I discuss in more depth on my latest podcast (you can listen here):
Ground rules are key. Many people reject the notion of being ousted from the cars, homes, and workplaces for not respecting the ground rules of those establishments, and in order to not offend them, we neglect to hold them accountable to their actions. When you let someone into a world you have stake in, you decide (and do so fairly) what the ground rules are of that domain. If/when the rules are not honored, those not honoring them have to go. The door is no longer open; they have abused their privilege.
It is fairly someone accountable for what they've done after walking through your open door. Their acceptance of this is only somewhat relevant. They will likely kick and scream, play the blame game, and even criticize you for having such “high standards.“ It's honestly incredible how far people will go to avoid taking stock of their behavior, apologizing, and working to change. That is not your problem.
A closed door is not a closed heart. A closed door is the protection of something you love and care for (on both sides). Then, once the door is closed, the work in hearts must happen. Unless you forgive the person you just had to ask to leave, you will hot be ready to truly let them in when they knock again with a modified view.
Questions for you:
What doors do you need to close to protect what you hold dear in this life?
For the situations in which you've closed doors already, how is your heart? Are you excited for that door to open someday once behavior has changed, or do you have bitter bolt-locks always in place?
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