Finding Beauty is Hard Sometimes: 7 ways to find Doorways of light amid a crisis

It's been almost a month since my last post, and in reflecting on the reason, I discovered a truth.

Sometimes it's difficult to find Doorways.

Doorways are moments of beauty, joy, or emotion that connect us to Something Bigger. Moments that make us smile or reveal the Divine at work in our world.

But I've been struggling to find Doorways each day, let alone moments significant enough to write about.

Like many around the country, I've been staying home since the middle of March. Nine weeks (and counting) of isolation from the community. Though I'm a practiced homebody who loves a good routine, my routine is becoming a rut.

And it shows up each night when I sit down to write my DTH (Doorway, Thankful, Help) prayer for the day.

In the past, I'd noticed occasional challenges in searching for Doorways, and they usually coincided with "bad days," but it didn't bother me. In fact, I enjoyed the work of looking for a tiny sliver of beauty among the pain, sadness, or disappointment. 

But stack weeks of uncertain, not-normal, monotonous days together, and it can look like a brick wall with no Doorway in sight.

I'm tempted to give into the hopeless feeling and skip that section of my prayer.

But then I reconsider. I know from experience that The Doorway is the most important part of my gratitude practice. It's proof that the brick wall isn't as solid as I thought, that there are cracks where the light shines through.

And I need to see that Light every day.

So, when I sit down at night, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and ask myself, Where did I see God today? What brought me joy? I allow all the time I need and relax into thought.

If you're struggling to find moments of beauty, especially during the COVID crisis, grant yourself grace and patience - and then trust that you'll find a Doorway.

   
Here are seven questions to get you started.
  1. What made you smile?
  2. What squeezed your heart?
  3. Who did you talk to today?
  4. What did you take pictures of?
  5. Were you witness to (or part of) a coincidence? Or some good luck?
  6. Where did you see kindness?
  7. Which moment had an impact on you? On your neighborhood? On the world?

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Besides being a daily Light source, Doorways can be a record of your past. This is why I write them in a journal and review them here. The moments show me where I've been, and they are evidence that beauty happens every day.

Here are some of the Doorways I've found in the past few weeks:

  • Sitting on my back porch, I noticed the first blooms of the season on my tree. They were so delicate and bright against the green leaves.

  • I chatted via video with my sister and my nephews, and I got to watch as Elliot opened his birthday gift from me. There's nothing like witnessing the joy of a three-year-old playing with a new toy!
 
  • I spent the day before Mother's Day riding trails in the mountains with my mom and dad. We shared in laughter and determination when we had to turn around ten times due to snow blocking our path.

  • I finally framed the puzzle my husband and I put together nearly two years ago. I'd been waiting because I thought I need his help, but I decided to try it on my own. The sense of accomplishment and independence I felt was beautiful.

  • My friend sewed a bunch of fabric masks while her hair salon was closed down. I reached out to her at the tail end of her project, and she just happened to have two left (one for me and one for my husband). She dropped them off on my front porch at exactly the right time so Shawn could take it to work. It was great to feel supported.


  • We had to take our youngest dog to the emergency vet at the end of April, and we were told she'd have to stay overnight. I was relieved and surprised when we got a call saying she was better and could come home early!


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