The doorknob—that the little girl was noticing for the first time—was brass. She was far too young to realize that she would, one day, think of that as her earliest memory.
It wouldn’t be like the memories backlit by aged photographs, or the ones told, and retold, for decades. No, this one would be hers alone, held in a secret space, suspended between “the then” and “the now”.
Many decades later, she would remember that simpler time, in a space where pain and disappointment were unknown, and where the juxtaposition between good and evil had not yet been experienced. She would look back, fondly, on those years of innocence, before the pain of betrayal, and loss, and heartbreak would mark her permanently.
It was in this pulling back of the cloak of time, that she became small; not the smallness of minimization, or of fighting through the glass ceilings of life, or of being taken for granted. This smallness was sacred. It was the small of innocence and newness, of mountains to climb over and bridges to cross, and she yearned to return to the “brass doorknob place” one more time.
How often, in our
take on the world,
do we ever go back?
How often do we slow down
and reflect on,
how we got to this day?
Most of my life, I’ve felt “grown-up”. I don’t remember a time without responsibilities—without having to be in charge of, or take care of, something or someone. Because of that I’ve gotten to a place where I often believe I can control things; that I can “fix it” or “bandage it” or “love it” enough to make everything whole. Then—of course—I’m shown that’s clearly not true.
So, why don’t I simply give up chasing what’s impossible? I believe part of it is my upbringing where I did have significant responsibility, part of it is my stubbornness, and (honestly) a large part of it is: “what is my role in life if I can’t take care of everything?”
The author, Eric Metaxas, wrote, “Ideas have far-reaching consequences, and one must be ever so careful about what one allows to lodge in one’s brain.”
As we navigate through the myriad of choices most of us have, Metaxes’ words make sense. There are, likely, a lot of things “lodged in our brains” that aren’t necessarily valid anymore (if they ever were). But, it often feels easier (and less risky) to simply maintain the status quo—to keep on doing the same things over and over without questioning the validity of those actions in our current lives.
Being intentional about the way we live requires continual rechecks.
It’s about asking questions like:
Am I doing what my spirit wants me to do?
Am I too much in my ego and not enough in my soul?
Does what I spend my time doing add to our world or does it take from our world?
If I were gone from the earth tomorrow, how would I be remembered?
What is truly important to me?
Asking those questions is a good start to returning to the “brass doorknob space”. They give us the opportunity to be small, to shrink to expand, and to pause long enough to call to ourselves what really matters. Then, when we turn the doorknob, we walk into a life lived with intention.