Something to practice

Be more open.

You’re just not open enough.

That’s the refrain that was going through my head; spoken, and unspoken, enough times by others around me to believe it.

That would be my answer. If only I were more open – then I would find the man of my dreams.

Just like that.

And so I tried. I meditated on being open. I thought about it. I told friends about how open I was. I swore to my therapist that I was open.

I gritted my teeth and said ‘I’m open, world. I’m fucking open, ok?!’

But, nothing really changed. And more importantly, I am not sure how much I changed. Because I just couldn’t figure out what it meant to be open, how to get myself to that place of being. It felt like a magical place, all blissed out, being strong and vulnerable at the same time. With unicorns prancing around and everyone being kind of each other. #justlikeNYC

And because I couldn’t figure it out, it just stayed in the back of my mind, as something I should be doing, but didn’t really know how to. Which just, ultimately, made me feel helpless and bad, and kind of shamed. Why can’t you figure out how to be open? What’s wrong with you?

But then I read something about generosity.

To me, generosity has always meant something like lending money and providing a couch; connected to resources. I’ve always thought of myself as generous, enough. It wasn’t something I thought much about, really.

Except this reading kind of stopped me in my tracks, as the author talked about how we all like being around those who allow us to make mistakes and be imperfect without holding it against us. And when those people are generous with us, we feel like we can breathe and be more authentically ourselves. The idea that being generous is being spacious.

Whoa. Mind blown.

Did y’all know this?!

Marianne Williamson writes, ” To the extent that love has dried up in my life, it was always because I became miserly with my expression of compassion. To the extent that love has blossomed in my life, it was always because I expanded my willingness to express the love that often cowers like a child in a corner of my heart.”

So, being open is just, really, about being generous?

That, that is something I can practice.

 

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