Dan Hears “When a Door Closes, a Window Opens.”  But what about the Transition? (#11)


Book review of Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door: How to Move Gracefully Through Change into Renewed and Abundant Life by Ellen Debenport  

It’s a cliché that when a door closes, a window opens.  That said, many of us, including me, buy into that notion.  Why Reverend Mother when advising Maria to climb every mountain in the Sound of Music offered that same advice.   Click here to see Reverend Mother rock Climb Every Mountain.

Ellen agrees with the premise, but thinks there is more to it.  There can be hell in the hallway when going from the closed door to the open window.  Offering constructive advice on how to deal with all sorts of changes in one’s life, the author opens a door for us all.  This is a book where I yellow highlighted it page after page and already have begun reading it a second time.

I have selected twelve quotes from Hell in the Hallway as a tease to see if this might be a book for you.

The hallway is that place between jobs, between relationships, during a major illness or after a permanent change or crises.  Life as you know it has ended, and you’re not sure what’s coming next.

Love is not the same as worry.  Worry blankets those we love with our fear; we are imagining the worst for them.  Love holds a vision for the best.


The key to forgiveness is to stop insisting on what ought to have happened, to stop making up stories about how your life should have been different.

Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expected the other person to die, or holding onto a hot coal, intending to throw it at someone else.  Who gets burned?

Release all thoughts of how things ought to be or might turn out, and simply experience the way things are.

Surrender means giving up the stubborn belief that life should be fair or make sense at any given moment.

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

The most obvious example of our creative power is the placebo effect.  Sick people get better when they believe they will.  The pill they took wasn’t a miracle drug.  Their thinking made them well.

The nocebo effect simply means that negative expectations produce negative results.

(Circumstances) are not happening to you, they are happening for you.


(Quoting Elisabeth Kubler-Ross) People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Love first, teach second.

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