Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Heart: Openness and the Danger Zone

Heart as open as the sky.
        Like many people in this day and age, I’ve moved around a lot. Not as often as some people, but often enough to be all-too-familiar with starting over. And that’s okay.

What isn’t okay, however, is the attitude that I developed after all of those moves—the attitude of, “One of us is going to leave, so why even become friends?” 

Danger zone. 

       I voiced this idea at an important team meeting last summer, revealing that 1) I had issues and 2) I shouldn’t plan on having anyone write to me after that summer ended.  I clearly didn’t want to invest in the team when I was with them, so why would I when were were apart? 

  I missed out on getting to know many quality people last summer, and have since learned the error of my ways. 

Today’s post is about openness. Openness to new relationships, which means openness to the joy of new growth and also to the pain of letting go when the time comes. We are complex, messy creatures who go much deeper than even we can articulate, bringing with each new relationship potential for problems, memories, laughter, and pain—sometimes all in the same day. I found that my unwillingness to risk the pain of being separated from people I love simply left me huddled in survival mode, self-protecting and self-absorbed as potentially beautiful friendships were being cultivated next door. However, when I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know someone, to catch a glimpse of the world from their unique perspective, both of our lives are enriched. 

Since last summer, I have chosen to re-open the gate of my heart and give friendships the opportunity to grow, even if only for a short time.  In reality, every thing and every person in life is temporary, so it is wise to enjoy and be thankful for life as I have it right now.  As I’ve learned to let my guard down in this way, I am better able to love others for who they are. 

Now, instead of shutting myself in by asking, “Why even try?”, I ask, “How can I love this person in the time we have together?” 

Steering clear of the Danger Zone. 

1 comment:

  1. This is so true! Especially because leaving does, oftentimes, leave a friendship at a standstill, it can be hard to want to invest simply because the pain of leaving a friend is so difficult. However, when I've focused on all the good times a friend and I have had and remember that, with friends, I always have an open door to come visit or something and it isn't really a permanent goodbye, it makes it much easier to want to make new friends. And it's ALWAYS worth the risk!