An Appeal for Openness

‘Openness’ is a wonderful word. It’s a word with no bias, denoting ‘innocence,’ ‘freedom’ and even a kind of goodness and lightheartedness. Its opposite is ‘guarded’ or ‘wary.’

nonnen-293x300When was the last time you were ‘open’? Have you ever been? Are you still open now?
When did you last run toward someone with your arms opened wide, just because you were happy to see them?
When was the last time you impulsively blurted out something funny, complimentary or cheeky?
When did you last buy a great gift for someone and give it to them for no particular reason?
When did last agree to do something you weren’t sure you could do, thinking “I’ll just wing it”?

Openness requires you to be free of fear, or at least not ruled by fear. But that’s easier said than done because there are so many things you could fear. Perhaps you fear rejection, because the one you run to with open arms won’t share your happiness and you’ll make a fool of yourself. Maybe you fear others will think your spontaneous remarks are stupid, or judge you for them. You could be afraid flopping, failing or falling short of expectations.

One of the worst things about fear is that it tends to unconsciously manifest itself in your behavior, so you express it without realizing it. You don’t know you’re scared, because you’ve learned all sorts of behaviors that allow you to sidestep the things you fear.

“So what,” you might say. “What I don’t know can’t hurt me.”

It might not seem to hurt you… because your behaviors give you a sense of safety and control. However, your life would be so much more fun and intense if you experienced it with openness. And the funny thing is, if you really do live more openly, you’ll no longer be dependent on how others react to you.

This does require you to live more consciously. You have to take note of your impulses and make sure they don’t get buried under rationalizations. That means letting yourself say what you think, showing how happy you are to see someone, expressing any happy thought you get when you meet an old friend, or someone new.

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Do send that postcard, that email or that gift. Do make that phone call just because you feel like talking to someone. Don’t be discouraged by the thought that he’s too busy, or she’s not so keen to talk to you anyway…

Just try it for a day. I’m curious to hear how you like it!