Hell in the Hallway

I have a little secret.  Sometimes I also have dirty little secrets…..this one isn’t dirty, just little and a secret I work to keep hidden.

I hate change.  Why?  Because change means things are out of my control.  I keep this a secret hidden because I am often the advocate of change in situations.

Can anyone relate to that?  Is there anyone here who has experienced change in their lives and it just pisses them off?  

As Ellen Debenport says in her book Hell in the Hallway, When one door closes, another one opens, but it can be hell in the hallway.”

 Three things to remember:

1. Change in life is inevitable and we all experience it.  No one is immune.

2.  But in this change or time spent in “the hallway”, comes transformation and unexpected gifts. 

3.  Since it is inevitable, it is helpful to understand it, embrace it and realize that often it is the way we view it that makes causes it to be labeled “bad.” 

 The author Marilyn Ferguson says, “It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear…. It’s like being in between trapezes (with no net).  It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.  There’s nothing to hold on to.”  Actually there IS something to hold on to.  More about that later.

 Every year there is a new iPhone, a new gizmo, a new gadget to learn.Stores close, co-workers leave, bosses turnover, people move.  And then there are changes that are gut wrenching.  Loss of loved ones, unexpected diagnoses, loss of friends, jobs end, we move. Will it ever stop?  Actually, no.  We all experience it.

This makes me want to say: “Why me?” “How did I deserve this?” “This is too much pain.  I cannot endure it.” 

As Ellen Debenport explains, “Simply knowing what to call it…to give it a name….and how we can reframe this, can be healing.” Yes, a door may have closed, but the universe promises that another will open. 

When we are in the throes of change or transition, we don’t want to hear trite sayings such as “It’s all for the good,” “Look for the silver lining,” “There must be a pony in here somewhere,” “Everything happens for a reason.”

An experience has a beginning and it will have an end and there will be change of some sort and transition of some sort.  It’s a predictable formula. Change does equal discomfort BUT Change does not equal forever.

 Sheryl Sandberg who is COO of Facebook as well as author lost her “best friend” a few years ago says the pain is still very real, but she has developed a practice of gratitude for life and all the small things that she always took for granted.  Her children have shown amazing maturity and love that she is not convinced would have appeared had her husband not died.  She never says that his death was good, a blessing or anything but devastating; however, she has become an example for other women who are learning to experience life without their beloved partner.

 To sum it up:

·         Change and times spent in the hallway happens to us all.

·         There may be gifts that we discover in this hallway.

·         Recognizing that the time spent there is not forever, is a first step.


As Ellen Debenport says, “What if this experience is happening FOR you and not TO you.  We came to this planet for opportunities to grow our souls in ways you could not accomplish otherwise.  What if your soul has brought you to this experience for that very purpose.” 

Can I take responsibility for moving through it with conscious awareness?  Can I label this as good?  Maybe if not now, someday.

As the Buddha says “Pain is certain.  Forever suffering is optional.”