Sometimes we want something so badly that we think about it all the time. We visualize it and dream about it, but it just doesn’t come. In fact, it almost feels like things are getting worse.

Here’s what I believe is going on. It starts with us. We set an intention that is strong enough that forces begin to move in our favor. Sometimes the first thing to be set in motion is the closing of the door on whatever is in conflict with that intention.

That can actually be painful. It might mean a loss, like a relationship or experience abruptly ending. Even if it wasn’t aligned with our intention and had maybe been something that was hurting us, that loss can still be hard. It is always easier to disconnect from a challenging situation when a better option shows up.

But the universe is wiser than us and knows that there is a very good chance we might pick the familiar even if the choice of something better is put before us. So it shuts the door and leaves us in the dark first. It might hurt, but it is a good sign that our intention was a strong one.

And then sometimes, we have to wait. In his book, Barking to the Choir, Gregory Boyle talks about the hallway between when God closes a door and opens another one. He calls it a grace period. Although it can definitely feel like that, I think it is more of a self-imposed waiting room.

I’m inclined to believe that the next door is already open. In fact, I believe there are probably several doors open in response to our intention. The problem is that we are not ready to see them. Even though we had our dream that became our intention, we were not necessarily ready to receive yet.

It feels like we are peering out into the dark and there isn’t a single light on the horizon, but what is really going on is that there is light coming from an infinite number of directions. It’s just that we’ve got blinders on and can only see the ones that correspond with what we believe we are worthy of.

The hallway or the grace period is the time it takes for us to believe that the dream IS possible for us. We have to know that we are truly worthy of our intention in order for us to see all of the doors opening before us.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the very first thing necessary. That is to accept the closing of one door so another can open. Whether that was the end of an actual reality or even just the hope of one, it feels like a loss. In the midst of loss, it can be almost impossible to see how what we were holding onto was keeping us from what we truly wanted. When we are attached to a circumstance or relationship, we may not want to see how it is standing in the way of our dream. Especially when love is involved. But the more quickly we can begin to enumerate the ways that the loss contains opportunities, the sooner that the other doors leading to our intention can come into focus.

It’s not an easy thing to wipe our eyes and begin to look down the hallway. Too often, we get stuck standing outside the closed door mourning for what is on the other side. People can spend months, years, even a lifetime doing that.

If we do start to look around, it may seem that there is nothing there. Just a long dark hallway with no possibilities, no open doorways. That is just us still believing that we are only capable of being the person we were behind that already closed door. If we find ourselves there in the dark, we can at least comfort ourselves knowing that our intention mobilized something. If it hadn’t, that first door would never have closed.

So the question becomes, what is it going to take for me to believe I am the person worthy of my dream? And if I just can’t believe it yet, then what do I need to do to become that person?

What we sometimes do is blame the universe or God for not answering our request, for keeping our desires from us, for withholding our dreams. Talk about miscommunication! I imagine divine energy standing there arms crossed tapping her toes saying, “Really, Stacy? You think I’M the one keeping you from your intention?”

But once we make that shift towards believing in our worthiness, then the doorways that are already open will start to illuminate. Perhaps you’ll only see one or maybe you’ll see several paths, what matters is that you can now see them.

Be careful here. You might embark on something that feels like a completely new possibility but if the same old you heads through that door, your wish cannot come true. Your dream cannot be fulfilled. It’s basically like taking a doorway to the same old path you were on before.

And how will you know which opportunity is the right one? Well, you can always test what lies before you against your intention. Are you my dream? Are YOU my dream? Trust your heart. It will answer.