There’s no upside to not opening

Closing ourselves to everything that we don’t like, can’t explain or can’t predict and control, it doesn’t serve us. 

It only blocks us off from avenues and relationships that might be a source of healing and growth. 

My favorite horror novelist once wrote that life is mysterious, strange, and full of wonders, and that only a fool withdraws from it willingly and lets it pass him by. 

Perhaps that is the posture we need in this world. Life being lived as an unfolding openness. 

One way to help facilitate this posture is to catch ourselves in the act of closing. For example, my nature is to avoid conflict with others. Especially in groups. When the tension escalates, my stomach starts to squirm. My noncompetitive codependent people pleasing nature sweeps my true feelings under the rug and either completely withdraws from the conversation, or nihilistically blows up the discussion with humor or absurdity, in an attempt to move on as quickly as possible. 

Masters named this tendency spiritual bypassing:

In a hurry to forgive we skip the process that leads to authentic forgiveness, feeling our hurt, expressing our needs, and perhaps navigating conflict. But this conflict is just shit auditioning to be compost. The shovels are supplied, all we have to do is use them. 

Guilty as charged. That’s been my work. To lean right into that resistance. To practice opening during times of automatic closure. To learn to open to what we would rather avoid. To always move in the direction of being more and more open to others. 

Even if only for a moment at a time. 

It’s more life giving that closing the door to the brighter world outside. 


What’s your response when you can’t help but writhe in the folds of your own tension? 

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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