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Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door

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“She knocked and waited, because when the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.” Laini Taylor

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door - Life's mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door – Life’s mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door - Life's mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door – Life’s mysteries

A very little key will open a very heavy door. Charles Dickens
I’m learning persistence and the closing of doors, the way the seasons come and go as I keep walking on these roads, back and forth, to find myself in new time zones, new arms with new phrases and new goals. Charlotte Eriksson

What door will you choose today? What door will choose you? In an ancient village, many moons ago, the Elders held a bi-annual ritual that was considered both sacred and secret. Only men and women of great valor were invited to attend the Ceremony of the Nine Doors. Twice a year, members of the village would brace themselves for the news that came from the village crier at cock’s crow. The news was an invitation to specific members to join the procession of Elders who took that journey to the King’s palace for their initiation into the Order of the Ceremony of the Nine Doors. How did the selection process take place? Why were some men/women of valor chosen while others were cast aside as if their acts of courage were an embarrassment to the community? In the quiet of the night, as families huddled around the communal fire, roasting crickets and yams, the Elders whispered among themselves about this great ceremony that measured a member’s true dedication to the village.

For eons, Uzo, a local girl wise beyond her years, observed the comings and goings of the Elders. She longed to learn the secrets of the ceremony and particularly of the selection process. Her grandfather was a member of the Order but her father, who was a skilled hunter and coco yam farmer, hadn’t made the cut. Why? Why not? Whenever she ventured to ask the question at family gatherings in the Obi, her father would scold her for meddling in adult conversations.
“But Papa, you are a man of great valor and I don’t know why they won’t pick you!” She said to her father, one chilly Harmattan night as the family huddled together by the bonfire as the logs crackled sending smoke and sparkling ember into the air.

“It is not your place to query the decision of the Elders.” he scolded her gently. His voice softened a bit when his second wife repeated the same statement with anguish in her voice.
Grandpa cleared his throat and, for the first time in many years, weighed in. “It is not that your father is lacking in honorable qualities my child…” He paused and then continued, “You see, one must first serve without expectation of reward, and then, one must hold an intention that blesses and inspires the community.”

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” Joseph Campbell

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door - Life's mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door – Life’s mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door - Life's mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door – Life’s mysteries

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see Creation open up new doors. Joel Osteen

Uzo’s eyes lit up. Grandpa had never spoken about the Order before, and this bit of information puzzled her. Even her own father looked surprised. He was about to comment when he was silenced by the gentle touch of his first wife, Nne, Uzo’s mother.
“How can one serve without expectation …? Even during the harvest we look to reap the seeds we sowed.” Uzo said a tad loudly. Her boldness was always a sour point with her mother but, her grandfather admired that quality in her.
“Yes, my child … we do. However, we must let the seeds germinate as we tend to other demands around us. When we surrender our expectation of a bountiful harvest and participate in community activities that uplift others, our harvest will still bear fruit.” said Grandpa in a strong, persuasive voice.

“My Papa has done all those things so, why hasn’t he been chosen? Why does he have to be disgraced each season when the announcements go out? How long must he wait?” Uzo persisted.
Uzo’s Grandpa and father smiled. Her mother, Nne, on the other hand, reached over to silence her seemingly petulant child.
“No, Nne, let her speak. She is a wise child and her questions are lessons to add to the stirring pot of life.” Grandpa admonished his daughter-in-law, and she sat back and let Uzo be. He continued his teachings for the gathering of family members and neighbors who showed up to listen and learn, as they sat around that cold, night fire.

“My child, in our village, we follow the teachings of the nine virtues: Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Self Reliance, Industriousness, and Perseverance. Each virtue has many parts and as a man/woman explores and expresses an understanding of each one, the village observer notes their progress through the Griots who then pass the name on to the other Elders in the Order. Once the first eight are mastered, the test to master the ninth virtue begins…. Without perseverance, even the most talented will falter and fall. But Perseverance alone is not enough because many fall victim to the voice of doubt that creeps in after many moons of waiting, hoping and longing…”

“If there is something more to learn beyond perseverance, what would it be, Grandpa?” Uzo interrupted her Grandpa excitedly. Finally, she thought, an answer to the secret would be divulged tonight and she’d be able to put her curiosity to bed and help her Papa join the village Elders for the next procession. Even her Papa was pleased as he often wondered too, but held his opinions close to his chest.

More below!

“It’s human nature to start taking things for granted again when danger isn’t banging loudly on the door.” David Hackworth

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door - Life's mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door – Life’s mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door - Life's mysteries

Inspiration: The Story Behind The Door – Life’s mysteries

Be an opener of doors. Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is no one, says another, whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door, and flies out at the window. Charles de Montesquieu

Grandpa smiled and, picking up the fire pick, he stirred the burning embers to get them fired up again. Everyone in the Obi was silent. You could cut the cold night air with a knife. The crickets stopped their song, and even the hoot, hoot of the night owls seemed to fade away. Everyone waited with bated breath for Grandpa’s next insight. He knew what they wanted and he let them sit and simmer. They all needed to digest the pithy nuggets of wisdom he had shared, to stew in it a bit, and he would speak only when the words came fully to his throat from his heart. There was no other way to speak.

After what seemed like an interminable length of time, Grandpa smiled and looking around at each eager face staring at him across the bonfire, he stared back and sent each one a blessing filled with healing and good intention. Again, he spoke.
“My wise child, beyond perseverance is surrender. When we wake up in the morning, we offer our oblations to the ancestors without much thought of how we got out of bed or how we walked to the outhouse to relieve ourselves of last night’s feast. We perform our actions because we have surrendered our innate desire to control them. They have become second nature and so all goes accordingly.” Grandpa paused, picked up his metal cup and poured the dregs of palm wine into the now smouldering fire. He mumbled a prayer and continued.

“So, my child, by the same token, Perseverance and Surrender are twins on the road to true, inner freedom. When your Papa reaches that point of no return, the last door will open from within and he will no longer be bound by the dictates of the Village Crier… When that moment arrives, the ancestral divination of his membership in the Order …  or not, will be realized. When we take the time to pay attention to what is in front of us, our world view and opportunity for growth will expand. Some have eyes but cannot see! Let us all be grateful for the here and now and allow the unfolding of life to continue.” Grandpa rubbed his hands together and, standing up, announced it was time to turn in for the night.

At that moment, Uzo, her father, her mother, and the gathering of family and neighbors got the message. Being present in the actions and activities of the here and now carried enormous gravitas and that was enough for them.
“Good night Grandpa. Thank you!” Uzo finally spoke and then followed her parents to their hut for the night. A new day awaited and before the early morning cock crowed, they needed to get their rest.

This post was inspired by a WordPress Prompt:  Discover Challenge: The Story Behind a Door  –  For this Discover Challenge, let’s focus on a door. You’re free to interpret this challenge as you see fit, and respond in any genre or medium, as long as a door — real or imagined — is your primary inspiration.For this challenge, the door is wide open. We look forward to your submissions and interpretations! To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post with #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.


Positive Motivation Tip:  In life, we choose some doors, and some doors choose us. Embrace all with gratitude.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos : Door via Pixabay and Door via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet




31 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz Mays permalink
    22/06/2016 7:49 pm

    I love the story! I do think that perseverance is key. It’s not always going to be easy but you have to keep going.

    • 22/06/2016 11:15 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read the story… Perseverance is truly a great quality/virtue. As Grandpa advised in the story: When we take the time to really pay attention to what is in front of us, our world view and opportunity for growth expands. Some have eyes but cannot see! <3

  2. wholesomeyum permalink
    23/06/2016 6:31 pm

    Such a great story! Love the metaphors.

  3. Lana Slaybell permalink
    25/06/2016 8:19 am

    The story was very long but, it was all worth the read. I love the story. I also was as curious as Uzo.

  4. Karen permalink
    25/06/2016 9:34 am

    My mantra is to always persevere no matter how big challenges you face. Love the colorful doors too.

  5. BluKatDesign Upcycled Jewelry permalink
    25/06/2016 10:22 am

    I love doors! I have actually made sculptures inspired by doors!

  6. Sunshine Kelly permalink
    25/06/2016 10:42 am

    Sometimes the door that we chose may not lead to the life that we wanted. Nevertheless don’t give up we can still find alternative or look for another door means another path of life.

  7. Shub permalink
    25/06/2016 12:15 pm

    Beautiful perspective about doors. Some doors we open and some of them I wouldn’t”open.

  8. Lisa Rios permalink
    25/06/2016 12:58 pm

    A beautiful post with some great collection of beautiful looking doors. The Joseph Campbell quote is so motivating and the story of Uzo is quite amazing as well. Thanks for inspiring.

  9. Nancy L. permalink
    25/06/2016 1:02 pm

    I had never heard of the story of the Ceremony of Nine Doors and love the inspiring lessons we can learn from it. Embracing all doors with gratitude is truly motivational.

  10. missy13d69 permalink
    25/06/2016 2:23 pm

    What a wonderful little story. There’s a lot to learn in that little eye niblet.

  11. Rosie Romance permalink
    25/06/2016 2:53 pm

    Some lovely quotes here! My favorite is be an opener of doors – it leaves me with such a powerful message.

  12. R U S S permalink
    25/06/2016 3:58 pm

    This is beautiful. Not everyone puts value to perseverance, especially these days, because people want everything express & instant. It won’t be easy but like what the Grandpa in the story said, it’s important that we pay attention to what is in front of us. It’s equally important to listen and be patient.

  13. Carmela Mempin permalink
    25/06/2016 8:54 pm

    Some says that every door that we knock has something that we need to deal with it. We cannot choose which door we can go through, but one thing is for sure we just need to accept and look on the bright side of it.

  14. Anwar permalink
    25/06/2016 10:24 pm

    Those are pretty good door but they remind of this quote “have faith in god when a door closed on you another door will open up with amazing opportunity, thank you for sharing this wonderful story

  15. 25/06/2016 11:19 pm

    This is so worth the read. Perseverance is very important, especially nowadays that you can get almost anything you need in an instant.

  16. Jennifer L. } Modern Chic permalink
    26/06/2016 12:48 am

    What a fascinating story that really left a lot of food for thought too. Great stuff!

  17. Kage permalink
    26/06/2016 1:10 am

    As a hope-to-be future author, I learned a lot from your work, both figuratively and emotionally, thank you for this beautiful post.

  18. Crystal Bowley Reagan permalink
    26/06/2016 9:02 am

    I hadn’t considered how much symbolism there is with doors. Your story is a lovely one and reminds me that sometimes life finds us.

  19. Amanda Love permalink
    26/06/2016 9:55 am

    This is the type of story you tell your kids so that you can inspire them to do more. Perseverance is a value that will take us to places and it’s something that we must teach them while they’re young. It’s one of the values that will teach them to keep going, regardless of the challenges that they face.

  20. Shannon Peterson permalink
    26/06/2016 2:54 pm

    These doors are beautiful! I love the imagery of doors and life – as they say, when one door closes, another one opens!

  21. JamericanSpice (@Jamericanspice) permalink
    26/06/2016 3:44 pm

    I enjoyed reading this story about life.
    It is indeed true that perseverance is key. And surrendering to the love and care of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Thank you for sharing.

  22. Marielle Altenor permalink
    26/06/2016 4:30 pm

    That’s a great prompt. I remember when I was younger I would hear “knock, and it shall be opened.” You really won’t know what’s on the other side of the door unless you knock. Perseverance is something that I’m working on. It can get hard at times, but I believe if I keep at it, I will reach my goals.

  23. Mommy Roxi (@MommyRoxi) permalink
    26/06/2016 6:59 pm

    I sometimes have the thinking that if the doors don’t open for you (if opportunities don’t come), bust through those doors and make those opportunities happen. Or if they doors won’t open, go through the window. Especially for me now, I try extra harder to make opportunities happen because life calls for it.

  24. Ana Fernandez permalink
    26/06/2016 7:11 pm

    Lovely story! We have to face every situation in life with the best attitude! Keep it strong and together!


  1. Motivation Mondays: PERSEVERANCE | Mirth and Motivation
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