“A person’s world is only as big as their heart.” -Tanya A. Moore
Last week, I wrote about John Robbins, who presented at Bonfire Heights. He and his son Ocean shared a number of stores about loving fully and unconditionally. Sitting in the audience at their presentation felt like participating in a massive, 45-minute group hug. They were just that openhearted–and the audience that receptive.
This got me thinking about my capacity for vulnerability. Though I write a lot about the benefits of being open, I’ve noticed I have a limit, so to speak–a point at which I inevitably shut down a little.
For example, if I’ve spent an afternoon baring my soul to someone or a group of people, I retreat into myself afterward, almost as if to regenerate after giving away so much of myself.
I’ve learned it’s healthy to spend time alone and turn within. But as a former hermit, I try to recognize patterns that lead me to shut people out, as this can create walls where they would otherwise be opportunities to give and receive love.
I suspect we all shut down from to time, particularly when we feel emotionally raw and exposed. But the minute we close ourselves off from other people may be two minutes before a life-changing connection or experience.
So I propose a challenge, for me and for you: keep your heart open a little longer than you’re tempted to today. Stay accessible, for even just a few minutes more than you ordinarily would. Keep engaging, even if you’ve shared a lot. Keep listening, even if you’ve heard a lot. Let yourself linger in that vulnerably open place.
Sometimes we learn and gain the most from the moments that are the most uncomfortable.
Photo by angrylambie1
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, and Tiny Buddha's Inner Strength Journal and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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