Thought Bricks 17 – Follow Up: Open to Life
I can well relate to Bernard’s point about “reserved” people in Lesson 17. Perhaps you can too, either because you are a bit “reserved” or you know someone who is.
I used to be very reserved. I was a “dark horse” as someone once described me. As I have learned to be less and less reserved, life has opened up in so many ways. I find it easier to connect with people either for business or social reasons. Many of the best jobs I have had came through recommendations of friends to “try this” or “go talk to that person”. Of course, I still had to win my place on merit, but often the idea, or push in the right direction, came from someone I knew who saw that I had abilities in an area where there was a need.
It is simple in a way. A “closed” person is not “open” to business. A “closed” person is not “open” to happy relationship. A “closed” person is not “open” to true prosperity. A “closed” person may be able to accumulate money, but they are “open” to enjoying it.
Of course, we do not need to be open all the time. There is a time to close down and protect ourselves. It is when being closed is a permanent state that the problem arises. If we close our hearts to people and to life then there is not much room for any real happiness to come our way. Even if such a person manages to achieve material abundance they will have no one they can really share it with and enjoy it with.
If we are afraid of people, and afraid of life, then we are locked inside a box. We cling too desperately to what we have and hold too tightly to the people in our lives. Cultivating an interest in others, not in a busybody way, but in a kindly and caring way, helps us get out of the box. Thinking, “What is it like for that person” with a kind attitude, or “I wonder how they feel about their life” in a caring way unfreezes the winter cold that can keep some of us frozen and unmoved.
The other day, I was walking along a nearby beach on a cold blustery day. I was feeling a bit troubled by something and was not finding it easy to let it go. Then a noticed an old man and a very young girl walking along the edge of the sea. It looked like he was the grandfather and she the grandchild. The young girl looked so happy skipping along the edge of the water, dancing from side to side to avoid the waves. The grandfather was watching her and smiling benignly at her. The looked so sweet together, and after a while of watching them, I noticed that my mood had lifted and I felt much better. When I was more of a closed type of person I did not have experiences like that. The more open I become the more I am moved by the life around me and enriched by it.
Many riches of life await us when we simply open to them.