When we encounter intense emotions or pain we tend to respond by closing.
Closing can take various forms:
- Becoming very loud and overly-expressive, blasting other people with our emotions.
- Becoming cold and distant.
- Looking cool, as if nothing is happening, yet suppressing a reaction inside.
Closing is a coping mechanism, but in reality it’s nothing but a way to steer away from actually feeling anything, and hence – opening.
We all have developed our ways of closing in response to threat or pain. Because from the standpoint of our personality we will never comprehend why we should open.
Why open when you feel unsafe?
Why open when someone is attacking you? Why open when someone is criticising you? Why open when someone is doing something that’s hurting you?
The personality will never get it. The personality is obsessed with protecting itself, and that’s where closing comes in handy.
Opening can only happen from a greater place – from the place of the Soul.
No matter how painful the event is, we can still open. This type of opening doesn’t mean that you need to let your energetic boundaries be crossed or let people walk all over you.
You can be very clear on your boundaries, and even seal your energy, yet stay open emotionally.
What does it look like?
Let’s say someone stepped on your toe. You could get angry and yell at them (1) or you could ignore them and look through them, as if they didn’t exist (2), or you could offer a smile and say that it’s fine but be boiling with rage inside (3).
Alternatively, you could feel the pain and look this person in the eye. You could make an outrageous choice to stay connected. That’s when you make a choice to stay open.
At the same time, you don’t have to open your energy and hug them and invite them over for tea (unless you want to).
Opening means choosing from a greater place than our automatic response. Opening is a force of our Soul.
This Soul Force is my favourite one, and at the same time it’s the most challenging one for me.
While I’ve come to opening which is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life, the natural coping method of my system in response to pain is to withdraw. And when I withdraw, I really withdraw.
I will be honest – a few people have been hurt by this withdrawal. I’m not proud of it, but when I look back at the times when I had to act in that way, I see that I did the best I could. Each time it happened it felt like an alarm going off in my head, telling me that I had to get myself out of that situation, ASAP, because I was being pushed way beyond my capacity. As a sensitive crab, I’d put up my shell and disconnect. Instead of finding a kind way to stay connected and communicate my needs.
There were only 2 people in my life who could call me out of that shell almost immediately.
These were the people who taught me how to accept places where I felt the ugliest: in my fear and in my anger.
One of these people died 10 years ago. His death was incredibly devastating, but it contributed to an enormous breakthrough in my life.
The other person ended up hitting a shell that hurt him way too hard – since then he hasn’t spoken to me. It’s been a while.
Since I committed to finding a way to open no matter what, closing happens far less frequently. It takes a higher voltage of intensity before I hit it, and overall opening happens sooner.
Opening is such a fascinating phenomenon.
You can’t force it. You can’t tell someone to open, now! It will never work.
Opening has to come from within. It has to come from free will, it has to come from the Soul.
It is such a radical thing.
What did those two people do to help me come back to opening?
I don’t really know exactly what they did.
I think they both just loved me fiercely.
Love is the only force that can win over a major closing. True love is completely disarming.
Love is what never gets hurt, never demands, never feels entitled to anything, never takes things personally, sees all, sees through all, accepts all and gives no matter what.
I wish we all knew love like that.
But the work of opening is ours. It is no one else’s responsibility to seduce us out of closing. It is our holy work. We need to be kind to ourselves, yet notice all the places where we tend to close. And see what happens if instead of closing, we open, bit by bit.
When we open, at first we will feel a lot of pain. It’s not going to be pain caused by this or that event. It’s going to be all the pain that we refused to feel for years. Or maybe centuries?
But eventually we recognise that it takes a lot more energy to stay closed than it takes to open.
Because opening promotes connection. And connection is what we really want.
Photo by Katya Rada
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