When you open up
While volunteering at church, recently, I was almost brought to tears by a young man who shared just a brief snippet of his story. He hadn’t been to church in about 19 years and was compelled to attend that day. He was so excited about what he had heard that he was suddenly “all in.” He wanted information about all the things going on in the church and said he would be back the next weekend, and bring a friend. I love it when a prodigal returns.
I watched a movie the other night, don’t even recall the name of it (it wasn’t that great) that touched on the topic of opening up. The supposed theory was that when you open up, you see the energy and beauty that has been all around you, you just never noticed it before.
I do believe that when you “let go” you are open to receive. As an example, if you have a closed hand, or an angry fist, you can’t shake the hand of someone new you meet. Or, how about water? Try to hold life giving water with a closed hand. It is only with an open hand (fingers close together) can we even begin to hold water. No one can give you something (good or bad) if your hands are closed.
Our minds are the same way. If you are not open to learning new things, nothing will ever change to you.
Unfortunately, it is the same with our emotions. I say “unfortunately” because like many of you, I don’t like to show unpleasant emotion. I try not to get angry, anxious, or tearful. I am not a cute crier and crying gives me a headache, so I avoid it as much as possible.
And yet… when I allowed that young man’s story to touch my heart, I was overcome with joy.
Sure, when you open up your run the risk of being hurt. Many of us have experienced deep emotional hurt and, well… it hurts. So, of course, we try to avoid it. And yet… much like the closed fist example, if we close off our emotions we are not able to experience the energy and beauty that exists around us.
If you have had the door closed on your emotions, I suggest you turn the knob and allow the door to open, just a crack. No one would expect you to swing that door wide open after having it closed for so long. Just a crack, let yourself have a peek at the joy you could be experiencing. Open it a little more each week, until you are comfortable leaving it open. When you experience a setback, resist the urge to slam the door closed. Absolutely, close it some, but always leave it cracked and able to be easily reopened.
Remember, it is only when you open up that you can truly experience the joy that comes from seeing the energy and beauty around you.
*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach, in the Raleigh area.*