Hey Daily Feelers,
If I’ve learned one thing from writing this blog, it’s that I can’t give everyone advice. I can’t. Not really. I would most likely lead someone astray. You see, my choices only apply to my path. What I can do is share with you my story, so you can benefit from my most vulnerable, joyous and sometimes painful life lessons. However, you have to first be OPEN to hearing my story, right? In order for my experiences to resonate with your reality, you have to be open to the possibility that someone else’s choices, though very different from yours, could bring value to your path as well.
Ugh, sorry, that word …OPEN. It just means so many things. It almost feels cliche to even say it. Think about all the different phrases that use this word:
Hold on. Let’s talk about this list for a second. When you hear the word solo, you think it’s positive, right? After reading this list. You should be a tad skeptical. As you can see, not all idioms are, indeed, positive. For example, open fire, this is definitely not the “open” I want in my life. What about open-ended? That sounds reckless to some, not positive. So if being “open” doesn’t always mean one thing, what does it mean? And why do so many people encourage us to remain open in tough times? Given all the possible negative connotations, the average person might just retreat from openness all-together to avoid making matters worse.
Well, let me share with you my take on why you should remain open, as often as possible in life. All phrases using the term open seemed to have a common thread. To practice being any of these phrases: Open-Hearted, Open-minded, finding an Open Door…we have to have a few perspectives in place:
- Accept the unknown
- Be vulnerable to failure, judgment, and most of all rejection
- Have a willingness to evaluate your own behavior first, not others
- Be teachable
I started my research with these traits in mind. To me, having all of those qualities sounds like the perfect recipe for an amazing human. However, I have yet to meet one person who was born with all 4 of these traits embedded. Most of us, we have to learn to be open over time, through experience, through loss, heartbreak, divorce, separation, and unexpected change. So, the actual word “open” is, in itself, something you have to choose to do.
It made me think about a baby tree just sprouting up. It starts out kinda top-heavy, right? Got lots of branches all sticking out from a skinny trunk. You can’t see the roots just yet, just the flimsy sprouts from this tiny seed in the ground. Now, why does this new tree need to extend its branches so quickly? You would think it would focus on roots first, right? If those are solid, the tree can withstand any elements it faces, in theory. But that’s not how trees are designed. For a tree to grow, it needs sunlight, rain, and a collection of different minerals from soil. If the tree doesn’t make every effort to branch out, be open to its elements, it can’t absorb all that it needs to bring back to its roots and grow to its full potential. As the tree ages, it’s trunk thickens, roots spread, but the leaves and branches also keep reaching outward. It’s beautiful. But let’s also play Devil’s Advocate. What if a hurricane comes and uproots that tree right in its prime? The elements are unpredictable. They don’t care about where that tree is in its process. That tree never saw it coming. Now, it’s 5 miles east laying in a creek. What was the point, right? What if I told you that while that tree was growing, it was providing shade for someone who was tired and a home for small animals. It was helping the soil mature and become richer for more vegetation to spread at its base. It also gave us oxygen every day it was living. That storm may have ultimately taken that tree away from its starting point, but its ability to remain open to the elements came back ten-fold to everything in its reach. The ground, the animals, even the creek it landed in which will now be firewood for a family; there was never a time in that tree’s existence that it wasn’t improving its environment.
I want to share with you something I read recently that explained being open way better than I can:
Shivam Agarwal, studied at Institute of Technology & Science, Mohan Nagar Ghaziabad.
Not knowing is so human.
Yet we so often let it stop us.
Or shame us.
Or make us feel “less than” those we think actually do have a clue.
But only God knows everything.
The rest of us are still just trying to figure it out.
And there’s only one way to cure that – to actually do the thing we’re completely clueless about.
Write that first word.
Take that first awkward dance step.
Cook that first meal and almost burn your one-bedroom apartment down.
Fear will tell you not to do it.
Ego will yell that your going to look silly.
Past experience will whisper, “Remember what happened last time…”
But there’s just no way around it. LIVING is an essential part of learning.
Somehow it’s got to get from your head; to your heart; to your awkward hands.
Because an idea or dream that never turns into action isn’t any better than the one you never had in the first place.
Dare to be clueless.
Then dare not to stay that way.
It’s really the only way tomorrow looks different than today.
….And it tends to make for some really good stories too.
In my humble opinion, being open to anything new is really the truest form of bravery. Good, bad, painful, or heartbreaking…you gotta be all in, tell fear to back off, and be eager to learn a new way of doing something. Then, take what you learned and use it to reflect inward. There’s no rule book for being an open-minded person, but you can start to learn healthy lessons from every situation. Having perspective is really, really brave. If you know anyone who’s had to face hard things unexpectedly with nothing but hope and grace to guide them, you are standing in the midst of a warrior. You should hug them super tight today. Remind them that it’s not about the end game. That part is the same for us all. It’s about how many times you looked at the hand you were dealt, and said “I’m all in. Let’s do this.”
JB McCann has worked in “The Biz” for almost a decade, yet she’s somehow managed to keep her feet firmly on the ground. Her altruistic spirit aims to evoke your Inner Phoenix and encourage readers to take the difficult leaps in life, so you can continue to grow.