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Sorry, We're Closed

Midge Greentree's picture

closed

I'd parked the auto down the block and jaywalked across the street, only to discover, "Sorry, We're Closed" greeting me at the door, a good sign for me, though, as I decided to just be mindful of its meaning.

This was the perfect timing to continue my practice in patience. I just stood there a moment, appreciating it all, when my thoughts began to wander, 'cause that's what they do all by themselves.

Look, Mind, I'm Thinking!

I thought about how we're closed sometimes, how often I'm closed, really. And then I wondered why I still choose to be closed, especially since I know what happiness openness brings to my life. Yes, fear is the obvious culprit. But of what am I still so afeared?

Is it not fitting in? Well, just fitting in doesn't quite feel like belonging now, does it? No, I don't care if I fit in anymore. That feeling of not fitting in sometimes just lets me know I'm being me, and she's happy to be. I do appreciate a sense of belonging.

I have a satisfying sense of belonging with my family and friends. I do belong. We all do. We're all deeply connected within our human existence. I think it's disconnect from ourselves that makes us think we're not connected with others. Being open connects us.

So why do I still sometimes close up?

Unapologetically, I'm Closed!

Sometimes I just don't dare to open up. And I appreciate my acceptance of this.

Sometimes, opening my mind or heart is hard. It can hurt. I have these steadfast beliefs and thoughts and ways of being that are strongly held, that serve me. Opening up can cause me to feel confusion, overwhelm, and resistance.

It's hard for me to look into someone else's eyes, to understand another's mind and feel another's heart. It requires me to temporarily abandon my own, and letting go of my small self is something with which this human still struggles.

I suspect there are few people in this world who are brave and even wise enough to be open all of the time without feeling fatigued, depleted, or threatened. All I know is that I'm not one. Do you know of one? Are you one?

I think closing up can simply be a sign that I need to rest, rest from the weariness of a world that is wholly overwhelming to me at times. Sometimes I'm just not brave enough to face my fears, to live full-time in vulnerability.

Being closed protects us, our minds and hearts, our beings, when we need it.

You're Welcome, I'm Open!

Most of the time, though, I'm daring enough to open myself up and live out loud.

I choose to fling my mind and heart wide open and experience all that comes from it. After all, what's the worst that can happen? A whole lot. Yet what's the best that can happen too? A whole other lot.

I remind myself that this whole uncertain lot in life is life. That's why I bravely dare to open myself up a little more, each moment, every day, to be all of me, to fully live life.

To feel the sadness and happiness of us all, to offer and accept help, to be present in pleasure and pain, to welcome conflict and make peace, to suffer in sadness and join in on joy, to express anger and be agreeable, to accept endings and appreciate beginnings, to love whole-heartedly whether greeted with appreciation or met by rejection, or all the other uncertainties in between, is to live.

When we're open, life's filled with uncertain possibilities for us to fully live, fulfilled.

Happily, I'm Open & Closed!

I practice opening up and closing up as best I can. It's a happy enough practice for me.

Most of the time, I keep on an automatic schedule of sorts, routinely opening and closing up according to where I am, who's there, and what purpose is present. My life seems to require it at times. Does yours? I sometimes tread through life carefully, resting up and even protecting myself when I need to.

Sometimes I'm quite conscious of my choices in being either open or closed, though, seeking the comfort of being closed when it's needed and daring to be uncomfortable whenever I can, opening up to others, maybe even changing my mind and heart. I welcome both who I am now and who I'll be.

And, once in a while, crazy crap happens when I scarcely even notice instantly flipping the sign, just knowing, trusting that it's the right time and space to do so. At these times my intuition overrides deliberate thought and fictitious fears, steering me through uncertainty, somehow in the right direction.

I appreciate being both open and closed at times. It's just how and who I am right now.

What do you think? I'm open to your thoughts, and I know I'll appreciate them whether you agree with mine or not. Do you always brave being open? What does this bring to you, and how do you stay open all of the time? Do you sometimes just need to close up? Are you resting, or protecting, or fearing? How do you brave it and dare to open up anyway?

Daring to open up,
Midge

Photo © Caffeinatrix via flickr

Comments

Sheila Bergquist's picture

Very Interesting!

I like the idea of "Sorry, we're closed." I am sometimes closed too and it is good. It is wonderful to be open, but sometimes we need to just be with ourselves and not let the rest of the world in. And while it may be good to be yourself and express your opinions, when we know it will cause us grief or pain to do so (mostly from someone's hurtful response to it) it seems wiser to just avoid that mess and stay closed. We have to have a sacred place in us just for ourselves, I think.

Midge Greentree's picture

A Place Just For Ourselves

Oh, I appreciate how you describe being closed as simply a place just for ourselves, Sheila. Connecting with others or connecting with just ourselves is best lived out by each of us, in our own ways and on our own time.

I know from experience that my own being closed has sometimes been interpreted quite differently by others than my simple intention of seeking solitude and spending time and space with me. Have you noticed this as well?

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate you.

Smiles!

Sheila Bergquist's picture

Yes, I have had my being

Yes, I have had my being closed interpreted in the wrong way. I know exactly what you mean.
Another problem I've had is that I have an anxiety/panic disorder that has been put into high gear from grief and changes in my life in the last few months, and I've had to be closed a lot. The few people I do interact with tell me I should get out more, I can't isolate myself this way...blah blah blah...they don't understand. And, of course, this is the last piece of advice I need.
So, for all sorts of reasons, we sometimes need to be closed, and hope that people will understand and still be there when we open again. I love that you wrote about this and hope people who read it who don't understand will finally get it!

Midge Greentree's picture

Understanding, Not Assuming

Yes, I think understanding and not assuming helps us to better connect with others when we choose to connect. "Going out" more is not always what we want, or even what we need. For whatever reasons (and they're quite personal to us), reasons that each of us knows best, "staying in" might just be just right.

Knowing myself, regardless of what others assume, has always served me best.

Sheila, thank you for opening up your mind and heart when it comes to this sometimes-misunderstood topic.

Sheila Bergquist's picture

You are so right...we must

You are so right...we must know what's right for ourselves and stay true to it.

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