Last week I was on a quest to purchase a new doormat for my front door. I had no idea the journey of personal identity it would take me on…
At the first store I went to, there was only one option: a plain colored mat with the word “smile” on it. At first I liked it, but then I thought about it… what if someone coming to my house isn’t feeling happy. Is this suggesting that we all need to shove our real feelings aside, and just smile? So much of the world tells us that we’re supposed to experience “good vibes only” and “just be happy” when a fair amount of the human experience is spent walking through the winter seasons of our lives. No, as someone who guides people through those seasons I refuse to insist that anyone standing at my door be told to fake it and “smile.” As I browsed the selection of doormats at the next store, I pulled a few down and set them on the ground, processing the message and color scheme of each one... Home Sweet Home For anyone besides me standing at the door, this isn’t ‘home sweet home.’ Also, what about the days when I return home and I don’t feel like this place is so sweet? Will this just feel like a dig? Welcome While I appreciate the simplicity of this statement, what if the person standing at my door isn’t welcome?! That’s a little misleading… I hope you brought wine Okay, while I am secretly wondering this about anyone who enters, there is a lot more going on in this house than drinking wine – most of the time. In any case that doesn’t need to be the first experience people have with me. Then there were several options with no writing on them, but instead had an array of colors and patterns. None of them felt quite right. I stood there aware that I’m likely overthinking this all, yet resolved that this decision is an important one. As people approach my home, whether to drop off a package or as an invited guest, they walk up to a piece of me. They walk past the rose bushes that I tend to with my hands and my heart. They walk past the angel statue that centers me every time I walk by her. As they stand at my door they stand next to a formation of rocks that I put together while on my solo immersion in Death Valley, stones that represent the angelic guidance I received while on that journey. Before anyone even sees my face, they walk through the threshold of my heart. These first words that they see are a representation of me, and they’re important. As I’m standing in my whirl of an identity crisis, a woman who works at the store comes down the isle. She smiles at me sweetly, and begins putting the mats I’ve scattered on the floor back on the shelves. I watch her, secretly thanking her for confirming for me that none of these are right. Then she reaches for a mat on the top shelf, scans it and pulls it down, puts it in her cart and leaves. I peek over her shoulder as she walks away. The mat simply reads: hello. “Yes!” I thought to myself, “that’s it.” Hello Whether I know you or not, hello. Whether you’ve been invited or not, hello. Whether you’re here as friend or foe, hello. Whether your heart aches or you’re floating in love, hello. Whether I am returning home or heading out into the world, hello. Maybe this is the only message we need to give or receive. Maybe all we're being asked to do is to have an open heart, an open mind, and to lean into whatever is coming next. Maybe we don't need to have the most perfect, welcoming, or witty message to share with the world. Maybe all we need is to be open to receive what's next, and an eagerness to start each adventure, and each day with the simplicity of this statement, "hello." This week I encourage you to join me on this quest. Let us greet each moment open minded, open hearted, and with an eagerness to receive what's in store. Let us simply say "hello" to whatever is next, and trust that it's exactly what we needed. Wishing you a wonderful week.
With love and gratitude, Robin