When do we know when it’s time to shut the door? It could be shutting the door on a bad habit or a bad ex. Or maybe it could just be shutting the door on the activities in life, which keep us in a whirlwind, and taking a deep breath to find ourselves. Whatever it is, the question still remains the same. I have pondered this issue for a year out of my twenty-three years on earth, because I have had doors, which I know should be shut, but still remain open. And all I can conclude is that, we just know. The feeling comes like a distant siren in our heads but we keep ignoring it, only listening to it when we are in the middle of an emotional hurricane. This discovery got me thinking more, why does it take so long for us to really hear the sirens? Why do we have to suffer unnecessarily, and maybe even suffer some more, before we realize that it’s time for the door to be shut? All I can conclude is that we must learn to recognize the warning signs earlier and act upon them courageously if we are to avoid the sometimes tragic consequences that await us. But this mind-boggling question hadn’t been fully solved.
It occupied my mind as I watched the beautiful image of a Hispanic lady who graced my 20- inch flat t.v screen. By her side, sat a young, handsome – almost beautiful- looking man. His short black hair was worn back in a wave like fashion. He looked clean and smooth. But deep down, he was licking the wounds of the past. The woman I had seen earlier was his mother. They had both come on the Oprah Winfrey show, to discuss about the painful past. As the show went on, it was revealed that the handsome man’s mother had a boyfriend whom had lived with them for years. And for years, he had raped this handsome young man. This had started at an early age. I watched as the mother revealed to the rest of the world how deep her denial had gone. She confirmed her knowledge of the issue and said she had tried to defend her son by sleeping at the front of her son’s door. Although Oprah tried to make her see the amount of danger she was exposing not only her son to but also her little girl, she seemed to be in a haze, a very heavy one that obscured her vision. She seemed to be dealing with the realization and the pain by living in a fantasy world.
She said she decided to shut the door on her lover after many years of assault to her son. After watching the show, it seemed I became even more perplexed as to why we all wait even when the signs are so obvious, to let go of something that shouldn’t be in our lives in the first place. Perhaps, it’s our deep need for acceptance.When this need becomes an illness in our lives, we become blind to the dangerous effects it can produce. We believe that if we just stay a little longer, it would become better. Or if we just sacrifice a little more, we would feel accepted. It’s what drives us into many bad habits, like becoming obsessed with one’s career or with losing weight. It seems to me, that many detrimental patterns in our lives seem to be controlled by this craving.
But again the difficult challenge is to know when to draw the line between ordinary needs and desires and dangerous obsessive patterns. In other words, when can we tell when our human minds- our miniature vehicles, are swerving off the bend? After struggling through this semester, while trying to ace all my exams at all costs just so I could maintain my current grade point average, I have come to realize that we are only human and true humans are not perfect. Hopefully, we can learn to accept that we might never be what society wants us to be and come to more fully appreciate our less than perfect, all-too-human selves. By doing this, we may become much more than what society imagined for us.